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Capitalism and the Minimum Wage: “I Got Mine, Screw You.”
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To understand the arguments of capitalists against the minimum wage, follow the money. In all the thickets of pious reasoning about the merits of capitalism and the market, and of freedom of contract, and of allowing this marvelous mechanism to work its magic, and of what Adam Smith said, the key is the dollar. The rest is fraud. Carefully ignored is the question that will be crucial in coming decades: What to do about an ever-increasing number of people for whom there is no work.

There is of course much hypocrisy in the theoretical edifice. For example, businessmen arguer that the minimum wage constitutes intolerable interference by the government in the conduct of business—meanwhile sending armies of lobbyists to Washington to make the government interfere in the conduct of business. In fact capitalists have no objection to federal meddling. They just want it to be such meddling as puts more money in their pockets. Nothing more. Ever.

In like fashion they say that they want to protect the worker’s freedom—yes, his freedom, such is the capitalist’s benevolence, the worker’s freedom–to sell his labor at a mutually agreed price. Curiously, in practice this means the employer’s freedom to push wages as close to starvation as he can get away with. This miraculous congruence of high principle with low profit is among the wonders of the universe.

A capitalist will similarly object to zoning on grounds of protecting property rights–it’s his land, and he can do with it as he likes—but if you buy the lot next to his house and build a hog-rendering plant, he will shriek for…zoning.

In every case, without exception, his high principles will lead to more in his pocket. He will be against a minimum wage because, he says, it prevents young blacks from entering the job market and learning its ways. You can just tell he is deeply concerned about young blacks. He probably wakes up in the middle of the night, worrying about them. He doesn’t, however, hire any. Purely incidentally, not having a minimum wage saves him…money. And if he were truly concerned about young blacks, might he not express this concern by—paying them a living wage?

Nah.

The quest for cheap labor has perhaps caused less misery than war—itself a most profitable business, war—but it is neck and neck. Businessmen imported blacks as slaves to have cheap labor, with disastrous results continuing to this day. Businessmen encourage illegal immigration from the Latin lands so as to have cheap labor. They sent America’s factories to China to have cheap labor. And now they peer with wet lips and avid gaze at…robots.

These will drudge away day and night, making no demands, never unionizing,, needing no retirement or medical benefits. Actually, though, capitalists want robots because capitalists care about freedom and want to help young blacks.

A cynic might see this as intellectual scaffolding for social Darwinism and unaccountability–see, it’s all due to the workings of the market. and the capitalist is only a bystander But no. It is about freedom., and justice, and all.

Among the fantastic trappings of—”free enterprise” sounds nicer than “capitalism,” doesn’t it?–is that it rewards hard work and determination which if pursued will lead to prosperity. This is both believed and beloved by many who believe it in part because for them it performed as described. The intelligent, healthy, ambitious and–a major advantage–unscrupulous can usually get ahead. And so, talking with others like themselves, they ask, “If I can do it, why can’t they?” The underlying notion is that the poor are poor because they are lazy and lack ambition. Some fit the description. Lots don’t.

Here we come to Commentator’s Disease, epidemic among talking heads and columnists.

A woman of my acquaintance once said, “In Washington, you assume that everybody is in the 99th percentile.” Decompressed from the apothegmatic, it is true. Cognitive stratification is very real, though seldom noticed and never mentioned. The city attracts the highly bright. They hang out together. They date. They marry. They don’t know anybody who is not like them. The same holds in many places, and on the web, but Washington is where policy comes from.

By and large they are neither arrogant nor snobs. Since they are all in the same bracket, snobbery would be difficult. They include a great many journalists. It is fun to speak of the press as imbeciles, but, apart perhaps from babble-blonde anchors chosen for their looks, they are not. The duller probably clock an IQ of 120. Even at dismal publications like Army Times and Federal Computer Week, with both of which I was once familiar, you find very smart people.

What has this to do with the minimum wage? A fair amount. People of IQ 130 and up tend to assume unconsciously–important word: “unconsciously”–that you can do anything just by doing it. If they wanted to learn Sanskrit, they would get a textbook and go for it. It would take time and effort but the outcome would never be in doubt. Yes, of course they understand that some people are smarter than others, but they often seem not to grasp how much smarter, or what the consequences are. A large part of the population can’t learn-much of anything. Not won’t. Can’t. Displaced auto workers cannot be retrained as IT professionals.

Few of the very bright have have ever had to make the unhappy calculation: Forty times a low minimum wage minus bus fare to work, rent, food, medical care, and cable. They have never had to choose between a winter coat and cable, their only entertainment. They don’t really know that many people do. Out of sight, out of mind.

Cognitive stratification has political consequences. It leads liberals to think that their client groups can go to college. It leads conservatives to think that with hard work and determination…..

ORDER IT NOW

It ain’t so. An economic system that works reasonably well when there are lots of simple jobs doesn’t when there aren’t. In particular, the large number of people at IQ 90 and below will increasingly be simply unnecessary. If you are, say, a decent, honest young woman of IQ 85, you probably read poorly, learn slowly and only simple things,. Being promoted, or even hired, requires abilities that you do not have. This, plus high (and federally concealed) unemployment allows employers to pay you barely enough to stay alive. Here is the wondrous working of the market.

As the stock market reaches new highs and the nation’s wealth concentrates in fewer and fewer hands, we hear that a rising tide floats all boats. This is fine if you have a boat. Maybe it only looks as though capitalists flourish while the middle class sinks and the welfare rolls grow and kids have to live at home and they will have no retirement. Well, some boats leak, I guess.

When the theorists of free enterprise imagine that our dim-witted young lady should be permitted the freedom to sell her labor for what it is worth, they do not worry that her labor isn’t worth enough to feed her. Some who say this simply do not understand what her life is going to be if she is paid what her labor is worth. Others, with the lack of empathy that characterizes conservatives, don’t care. If you look at the godawful conditions of their employees in the sweatshops of, say, Bangladesh, you will see that not caring is common. Let them eat cake.

The question arises: What does the country do with the large and growing number of people whose labor is worth nothing? Or, perhaps more accurately, whose labor isn’t needed? We see this in the cities today. An illiterate kid in Detroit has no value at all in the market for labor. Assuming that he wants to work, a questionable assumption, what then? Endlessly expanding welfare? What about the literate, averagely intelligent kid for whom there are no jobs? If people working in McDonald’s can barely live on their wages, and strike, or the state institutes a higher minimum wage, McDonald’s will automate their jobs, is automating their jobs, and conservatives will exult—the commie bastards got what they asked for.

This is capitalism in its perfection.

(Republished from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Capitalism, Minimum Wage 
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  1. Excellent, sir.

    I’ll tell you what is coming: a Guaranteed Minimum Income, in exchange for which you will get your tubes tied or pipes snipped after two children, or maybe one, or maybe none depending on your biological and social profile. This will happen in the next five years, after intelligence is mapped out on the genome and Tabula Rasa goes to its reluctant, long-delayed death.

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    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    This will happen in the next five years, after intelligence is mapped out on the genome and Tabula Rasa goes to its reluctant, long-delayed death.
     
    Careful with that. The truly smart people know that so-called 'intelligence' is actually four orthogonal qualities:

    a) Knowledge, specifically, domain-specific knowledge. (E.g., playing chess, or calculating definite integrals.)
    b) Formal logic and the ability to reason.
    c) Verbal skills and language ability.
    d) Ability to learn new skills and adapt to non-standard circumstances quickly.

    Qualities a, b and c are easily trained by a rigorous regime of exercises, regardless of innate IQ ability; some might be naturally more talented than others, but just like with physical exercise, success is usually 90% hard work and 10% talent.

    Quality d is innate (and, arguably, exactly that which makes us human in the first place), but impossible to quantify.

    In other words: intelligence is inheritable, but mostly not genetic. Intelligent parents start training their kids to be intelligent even before birth.
    , @Abelard Lindsey
    I’ll tell you what is coming: a Guaranteed Minimum Income, in exchange for which you will get your tubes tied or pipes snipped after two children, or maybe one, or maybe none depending on your biological and social profile.

    I can see some variant of this happening over the next 20-30 years. This is the most humane way to deal with the issue.

    The larger point, that humans are self-segregating into separate cognitive classes has been talked about since the 1980's. I regard it as historically inevitable.
    , @anonymous-antiskynetist
    I've been saying this for years. Guaranteed Income is a certainty, because a vast mass of technologically unemployed superfluous humans is not an acceptable risk to elites. Think you're wrong about the eugenics aspect though. Not politically doable in my opinion, not at this stage anyway.
    , @woodNfish

    I’ll tell you what is coming: a Guaranteed Minimum Income, in exchange for which you will get your tubes tied or pipes snipped after two children, or maybe one, or maybe none depending on your biological and social profile.
     
    Really? The government hasn't been about to do that for inter-generational Welfare cheats. What makes you think it will be able to do it in exchange for a GMI, also known as "Welfare"? No, it simply isn't going to happen. Even China has given up the one-child prohibition.
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  2. America’s clearest eyed and straightest speaking social commentator strikes again.
    One can expect the Black Reparations push to eventually succeed due to the obvious, if totally unmentionable, problem that Fred skillfully outlined.
    Gotta do somethin’ with all those folks and eventually you run out of plausible reasons for utterly ineffective Federal giveaway grants to “close the gap”.
    It’s more humane and tactful to tell people that their free lunch was somehow earned by the sufferings of their ancestors than that they are superfluous burdens to a system whose only value yardstick is productivity.

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    • Replies: @JEGG
    There's always the option of make work. For example, some could be put to work in highly subsidized agricultural ventures. Although it's unlikely, it would be nice if jobs, that have some use to somebody, could be found for their skill set instead of just paying them to be entirely superfluous.
  3. The oft-proposed fix for this “useless worker” problem is a guaranteed minimum income, to be funded by taxing the small number of high-IQ engineers, computer scientists and owners of robotic factories and distributed by the central state.

    Anyone who thinks this would be a stable construct in a place where democracy has any sway is a complete fool. The have-nots would sit around, angry that the have’s have more stuff than they do, vote for an ever higher tax burden and ever higher redistribution while doing nothing but producing more stupid offspring to sit on the couch. The one thing stupid people do extremely well is make additional copies of themselves.

    The stuff that makes a man (or woman) capable of being the one whose intellect is amplified in a high tech world is almost entirely inherited. From IQ to creativity to joy in work, these attributes are relatively rare.

    The Brave New World ahead is a giant predicament, and no solution is obvious.

    One certainty: the solution won’t be found in politics or ballot boxes.

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    • Replies: @Big Bill
    They do this already. We already HAVE a "guaranteed income", called welfare. And the corporations just LOVE it. They make money on the EBT card processing. They make money offering ridiculous car loans. They make money on KinderCare (and similar franchises). They make money off all the programs that give cash to poor people. In fact, that is why they are all pushing for Open Borders, so they can have tens of millions more people to buy diapers, junk food, cheap movies, car insurance and gasoline.
  4. Good God, Fred, that was magnificent.

    Not that it matters, but I lived in the DC world that Fred describes, and he couldn’t be more correct. The slow kids in class (and I include myself in that category) were 120 to 125 IQ people. The rest were somewhat to dramatically more intelligent. DC is a collection of the smartest kid in the class. It’s a truly bizarre place.

    What you have to understand is that these people have no concept of not being intellectually capable of doing something. As Fred discusses, it may take some more time than others, but the idea that they can’t learn something outside of quantum physics simply never crosses their minds because, in fact, they can learn almost anything.

    Another thing you need to understand about these people is that everyday people and their problems are theoretical. They’ve never known the kid of a plumber or a truck driver. (I grew up with those kids even if I knew I wasn’t really one of them.) That’s not to say that DC people don’t have hobbies that involve on the ground grunt work (woodworking, brewing beer, etc.). So, sure, they can imagine being a fine woodworker or a craft brewer, but they can’t conceive of working at a lumber yard or moving crates around a Budweiser brewery. Real people are real to DC people.

    It’s why I had to leave.

    Look, I was never some “Man of the People” type. But I never hated or discarded the people that I grew up with. DC types truly do either hate those people or simply don’t care.

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    • Replies: @Realist
    "Not that it matters, but I lived in the DC world that Fred describes, and he couldn’t be more correct. The slow kids in class (and I include myself in that category) were 120 to 125 IQ people. The rest were somewhat to dramatically more intelligent. DC is a collection of the smartest kid in the class."

    You live in a dream world. Totally devoid of reality.

    , @AndrewR
    As a relatively close relative of a retired US Congressman-turned-Senator, I can vouch for this. FY;IGM Syndrome is very real among the DC elite.

    Imagine asking your aunt to move at your mother's funeral so your co-worker can sit in the front row.

  5. Fred suggests capitalists are heartless in their preference for robots but the reality is that human involvement in production is probably the major source of qc problems.

    Are we really going to go Full Luddite? You should never go Full Luddite.

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  6. This is not particular to capitalism, but to civilization. The Archaeological evidence is that with the advent of agriculture, and shortly thereafter cities, people, bar the elites, were less well nourished than their hunter gatherer ancestors. Cities were population sinks where the poor of the countryside came to escape hunger and privation only to die of disease.

    By all accounts none of the “worker’s paradises” have managed to circle that square either.

    The illusion that “we can do better” is born of expanding credit-fueled “growth” – a bubble that will soon break, ushering in a return to a harsher reality.

    I still think things will get better after the wars and the population gets cut back.

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  7. Fred wrote: “The question arises: What does the country do with the large and growing number of people whose labor is worth nothing?”

    The real question is, what does the country do with the large and growing number of people whose labor is worth less than the minimum wage? Their labor may be worth something – just not enough. Microeconomics 101 tells us that the marginal product of labor is the wage of labor. No business can operate at a loss for more than a finite period, and so no employer will hire laborers whose potential work product is worth less than the statutory minimum wage.

    If the condition of the poor could really be improved by raising the statutory minimum wage, then all that is necessary to relieve the poverty of (say) Bangladesh or Eritrea would be for those places to pass such legislation. The absurdity of the premise is obvious. Both the wealth of individuals and that of nations necessarily depends upon their productivity.

    Rich countries such as the United States, Britain, or Germany can care for the unproductive through their social welfare systems as long as their numbers are not too large. Doing so will become increasingly difficult as larger and larger numbers of ignorant, illiterate, low-IQ immigrants flood into the developed world. As the populations become less productive, per-capita wealth must eventually fall. Most of Western Europe appears to me already to be depleting its capital in order to support the welfare state. The United States will soon follow. What happens to a country when in a fit of altruism and compassion, it allows the dependent to eat next year’s seed corn?

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    • Agree: The Anti-Gnostic
    • Replies: @another fred

    The real question is, what does the country do with the large and growing number of people whose labor is worth less than the minimum wage?
     
    Keep in mind that throughout history the main value of their "labor" was in their capacity for coalitional violence. A significant proportion of humanity has little else to offer a society besides a capacity for low value grunt labor and a willingness commit violence on its behalf. That use of their "labor" has recently been held in low regard, but the book War Before Civilization, by Lawrence Keeley argues well that this capacity has a long pedigree.

    As Fred Reed so often reminds us, said willingness is often inversely proportional to the risk that one might become the victim of the same violence, but the thousands flocking to ISIS are witness to the fact the lust to commit coalitional violence is still alive in the human breast.
    , @Cletus Rothschild
    "No business can operate at a loss for more than a finite period . . ."

    False dichotomy. It isn't a question of increasing profits ueber alles or loss. It's about compromise that allows profit AND living wages for more Americans.
    , @CanSpeccy
    Well said.

    If the discipline of economics has shown anything, it is that supply and demand are brought into balance by adjustments in price. Therefore, fixing the price of labor or anything else, is a sure way to produce a surplus or a shortage.

    But who among those who expect to benefit from a legally imposed high minimum wage knows anything of economics? And who among the political class advocating a high minimum wage give a damn about the saps who will be put out of work if their proposal is implemented? It's moral uplift and votes that they're after, not the general welfare.

    The problem of those whose labor is not worth a living wage will always be with us. Over the course of history it has been solved in various ways. Most commonly, of course, through privation and misery, which had the beneficial side effect of reducing the success of the least successful in raising more of their own kind.

    Today, in the West, we are squeamish about solving the problem of poverty through starvation, but since the government takes half our income, we are mostly reluctant to engage in personal philanthropy on a scale to have a significant impact on poverty. Thus we demand that the government solve the problem, which it does through a combination of welfare and minimum wage laws, the latter increasing the demand for the former.

    But there is another way the problem can be approached by governments of the rich countries. That is through a national economic policy that protects home industries with tariffs and protects the home labor market through strict immigration control.

    The virtue of the nationalist approach is that (a) by retaining basic manufacturing industries such as shoes, textiles, car parts, and electronics assembly, a home market is created for the higher order industries such as machine tools and robotics that are required in support of lower tech manufacturing; and (b) by excluding floods of Third World immigrants you have some hope of retaining your national culture, language and religion, and even of ensuring the existence of your own racial posterity.

    Liberals, of course, hate everything listed under (b) and hence endlessly muddy the water by urging an increase in the minimum wage, helicopter money or anything but a program to ensure every able-bodied person the dignity of a job.

  8. Fred,

    As usual a very nice article, but I question your description of high intelligence in the social very and political scene in Washington, DC. Having worked that scene for three decades, what I see are a lot of people with functional disabilities with simple transitive reasoning: A–>B–>C, therefore A–>C … with transitive reasoning being the rational ability to anticipate and predict the consequences of one’s decisions. In Washington, these decisions translate into bureaucratic dictums and social, military, and economic policies that impact billions of people and world peace. However, those on the Washington scene typically miss the bit about consequences and find themselves in continual crisis trying to manage the “blowback” from consequences that were predictable and predicted.

    Ruby in the movie Cold Mountain: “Every piece of this is man’s bullshit. They call this war “a cloud over the land” but they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say “Shit, it’s rainin’!”

    Assuming that intelligence is associated with the ability to make rational decisions, what I see in Washington are lots of powerful people who misconstrue power for intelligence. In often thinly veiled attempts to increase personal power, they make decisions calculated to benefit themselves, their clubs, and their clans at the expense of their public missions and the common good. Consequences be damned!

    I see the same thing in the assumed intelligence of the people on Wall Street. Collectively, these powerful groups of people are in the business of looting … not business and certainly not government. If they were so intelligent, they would not find it so hard to anticipate the “blowback” from their decisions.

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    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    Power corrupts (people's reason, not just morals.)
    Success sows the seeds of failure via arrogance.

    Very bright people lie to themselves and rationalize their emotion- and biases-driven impulses just like everyone else. They just have the mental horsepower to obtain high positions where we can watch them do so more easily.

    The problem with DC is that it's populated by people who have utterly no respect whatsoever for the vast warehouse of knowledge they lack, nor for the large quantity of what they think they know that just ain't so.

    But as Charles Hugh Smith put it, "Certainty sells better than hedged hesitancy."

    Fools (even high IQ fools) are sure when the wise are cautious.
    , @Realist
    "Assuming that intelligence is associated with the ability to make rational decisions, what I see in Washington are lots of powerful people who misconstrue power for intelligence. In often thinly veiled attempts to increase personal power, they make decisions calculated to benefit themselves, their clubs, and their clans at the expense of their public missions and the common good. Consequences be damned!

    I see the same thing in the assumed intelligence of the people on Wall Street. Collectively, these powerful groups of people are in the business of looting … not business and certainly not government. If they were so intelligent, they would not find it so hard to anticipate the “blowback” from their decisions."

    With this I agree.
  9. I would only append to Crawfurdmuir’s excellent points above that Mr. Reed’s comments ignore learning-curve effects.

    The idea is to get low-productivity workers into the workforce, wherein they will learn new skills and increase their own productivity/marginal labor product. I doubt the genetic potential of the US has deteriorated that much since the golden days of the Detroit production lines.

    I would further add that having grown up in DC and lived/worked in NYC and Silicon Valley, my impression is that people in DC just think they’re smarter. Most couldn’t last a month in NYC or the Valley, where money talks and bullshit walks.

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    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    My wife (who teaches 4th grade) would disagree with you. Kids in her class are quite obviously of differing "mental voltages." The low power ones struggle with simple concepts, and anyone who thinks just adding more time and training can make a slow-witted child into a calculus-wielding mechanical engineer is an irredeemable moron.

    I have three sons in STEM fields. The suggestion that more than a percent or two of all Americans could contribute anything at all in their workgroups is utter silliness.

    The one who is a mechanical engineer (with a patent applied for already by 27) related a story of a supplier of a part; the supplier is making the production of the part entirely automated to eliminate the human variability that leads to QC rejects. This is the future, like it or not. My son's "product" will be amplified by automated production in much the same way a musician's "product" can be amplified by endless copying of the electronic MP3 file.

    Imagine engineers' aptitudes selected for and rewarded like rock stars, an ever-fewer top talents earn megabucks satisfying the demand from millions of "fans" while the next tier of engineers barely gets by and everyone below that isn't even remotely competitive.

    Fred's column highlights an inescapable predicament. An entirely new or separate way of "valuing" people's contributions to their fellow men must evolve. If automation ushers in a new wave of seemingly unlimited resources, it will be necessary for new standards of judgement of what constitutes value outside of that commercial emporium. Our current obsession with "consumption uber alles" must end.
  10. @Crawfurdmuir
    Fred wrote: "The question arises: What does the country do with the large and growing number of people whose labor is worth nothing?"

    The real question is, what does the country do with the large and growing number of people whose labor is worth less than the minimum wage? Their labor may be worth something - just not enough. Microeconomics 101 tells us that the marginal product of labor is the wage of labor. No business can operate at a loss for more than a finite period, and so no employer will hire laborers whose potential work product is worth less than the statutory minimum wage.

    If the condition of the poor could really be improved by raising the statutory minimum wage, then all that is necessary to relieve the poverty of (say) Bangladesh or Eritrea would be for those places to pass such legislation. The absurdity of the premise is obvious. Both the wealth of individuals and that of nations necessarily depends upon their productivity.

    Rich countries such as the United States, Britain, or Germany can care for the unproductive through their social welfare systems as long as their numbers are not too large. Doing so will become increasingly difficult as larger and larger numbers of ignorant, illiterate, low-IQ immigrants flood into the developed world. As the populations become less productive, per-capita wealth must eventually fall. Most of Western Europe appears to me already to be depleting its capital in order to support the welfare state. The United States will soon follow. What happens to a country when in a fit of altruism and compassion, it allows the dependent to eat next year's seed corn?

    The real question is, what does the country do with the large and growing number of people whose labor is worth less than the minimum wage?

    Keep in mind that throughout history the main value of their “labor” was in their capacity for coalitional violence. A significant proportion of humanity has little else to offer a society besides a capacity for low value grunt labor and a willingness commit violence on its behalf. That use of their “labor” has recently been held in low regard, but the book War Before Civilization, by Lawrence Keeley argues well that this capacity has a long pedigree.

    As Fred Reed so often reminds us, said willingness is often inversely proportional to the risk that one might become the victim of the same violence, but the thousands flocking to ISIS are witness to the fact the lust to commit coalitional violence is still alive in the human breast.

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    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    Human males, stripped of the rational mind's restraint, are nothing but war machines. This is revealed by adding alcohol to most men; violence is not an uncommon result.

    Civilization periodically contains this natural state, but the peace never lasts forever. Humans are inherently animals of a particular kind. We cannot escape our nature. (This is not to say women are, somehow, superior. On the contrary, they too have an impulsive natural behavior set, one most people try to ignore but unlike male nature, women aren't socialized out of it by the time they reach adulthood.)

    When the cycle of war returns there is an historically unprecedented amount of human blood now available to spill. What drives the violence won't be remotely rational, so attempting to thwart the cycle with appeals to reason will fail and fail utterly.

    , @Crawfurdmuir
    "Keep in mind that throughout history the main value of their 'labor' was in their capacity for coalitional violence. A significant proportion of humanity has little else to offer a society besides a capacity for low value grunt labor and a willingness commit violence on its behalf. (...)"

    Periodic war, whatever else it may be, is a means of keeping the numbers of that "significant portion of humanity " in check. The world has had such surpluses before the present, most recently in the 1930s. Your comment reminds me of Sen. Burton K. Wheeler's remark that FDR's lend-lease bill, if passed, "would plow under every fourth American boy" - alluding to the New Deal practice of plowing under surplus crops.

    In fact, it was not the New Deal but rather World War II that lifted America out of the Great Depression. Unemployment had been as high as 19% in 1939. Wartime spending revived American heavy industry, while the draft removed large numbers of young men from the civilian workforce - many of them permanently. The policy of plowing under crops failed to restore prosperity; to what extent did that of plowing American boys under lead to the post-war boom?
  11. @another fred

    The real question is, what does the country do with the large and growing number of people whose labor is worth less than the minimum wage?
     
    Keep in mind that throughout history the main value of their "labor" was in their capacity for coalitional violence. A significant proportion of humanity has little else to offer a society besides a capacity for low value grunt labor and a willingness commit violence on its behalf. That use of their "labor" has recently been held in low regard, but the book War Before Civilization, by Lawrence Keeley argues well that this capacity has a long pedigree.

    As Fred Reed so often reminds us, said willingness is often inversely proportional to the risk that one might become the victim of the same violence, but the thousands flocking to ISIS are witness to the fact the lust to commit coalitional violence is still alive in the human breast.

    Human males, stripped of the rational mind’s restraint, are nothing but war machines. This is revealed by adding alcohol to most men; violence is not an uncommon result.

    Civilization periodically contains this natural state, but the peace never lasts forever. Humans are inherently animals of a particular kind. We cannot escape our nature. (This is not to say women are, somehow, superior. On the contrary, they too have an impulsive natural behavior set, one most people try to ignore but unlike male nature, women aren’t socialized out of it by the time they reach adulthood.)

    When the cycle of war returns there is an historically unprecedented amount of human blood now available to spill. What drives the violence won’t be remotely rational, so attempting to thwart the cycle with appeals to reason will fail and fail utterly.

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    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
    Compare the wonder of a rose unfolding to the thrill of vengeance and lust unbridled.
    , @Michelle
    Yes, yes, yes! You have the right of it, Sir. War is fun for, many, if not, most males.
  12. Throughout the recent few centuries of “western civilization” the practice of businessmen sending armies of armies to interfere with business was and remains the driver of government policy. Hence, maintaining a presence atop mid east oil despite the glut of domestic supply can be sheep dipped as fighting ISIS et al, while enabling cheaper and more profitable shipping of petro to India and China. Neutron bombs appear more and more likely a solution to problems of urban renewal.

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    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    The war on Western Civ (and its people) ignores the elephant in the room.

    What do the Anti-White warriors think will happen if they completely overtake and overthrow Western systems in North America and Europe? Have they forgotten China?

    My sense is that Chinese people are very, very pragmatic. If, say, Africa has lots of useful minerals and land and stuff, and the only impediment to taking it all are a few pesky natives, well....

    Genghis Khan may make a reappearance, armed with the best weapons a society topped by very bright people can produce. I'm reminded of Churchill ordering mustard gas bombs be dropped from aircraft onto horse-riding tribesmen in what is currently Iraq.

  13. @Captain Willard
    I would only append to Crawfurdmuir's excellent points above that Mr. Reed's comments ignore learning-curve effects.

    The idea is to get low-productivity workers into the workforce, wherein they will learn new skills and increase their own productivity/marginal labor product. I doubt the genetic potential of the US has deteriorated that much since the golden days of the Detroit production lines.

    I would further add that having grown up in DC and lived/worked in NYC and Silicon Valley, my impression is that people in DC just think they're smarter. Most couldn't last a month in NYC or the Valley, where money talks and bullshit walks.

    My wife (who teaches 4th grade) would disagree with you. Kids in her class are quite obviously of differing “mental voltages.” The low power ones struggle with simple concepts, and anyone who thinks just adding more time and training can make a slow-witted child into a calculus-wielding mechanical engineer is an irredeemable moron.

    I have three sons in STEM fields. The suggestion that more than a percent or two of all Americans could contribute anything at all in their workgroups is utter silliness.

    The one who is a mechanical engineer (with a patent applied for already by 27) related a story of a supplier of a part; the supplier is making the production of the part entirely automated to eliminate the human variability that leads to QC rejects. This is the future, like it or not. My son’s “product” will be amplified by automated production in much the same way a musician’s “product” can be amplified by endless copying of the electronic MP3 file.

    Imagine engineers’ aptitudes selected for and rewarded like rock stars, an ever-fewer top talents earn megabucks satisfying the demand from millions of “fans” while the next tier of engineers barely gets by and everyone below that isn’t even remotely competitive.

    Fred’s column highlights an inescapable predicament. An entirely new or separate way of “valuing” people’s contributions to their fellow men must evolve. If automation ushers in a new wave of seemingly unlimited resources, it will be necessary for new standards of judgement of what constitutes value outside of that commercial emporium. Our current obsession with “consumption uber alles” must end.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Captain Willard
    @dcsunsets

    I agree with your wife, but that wasn't my point. My point is that most people in the Us, if they're sober and willing, no matter how stupid, can produce more than $8-10/hr of marginal labor product if we get them into the workforce and train them.

    Therefore any barrier, like the minimum wage, to getting them into the workforce is a problem .

    Your second point is very profound. A good engineer can have world-wide impact now. Sure, so did Watt, Whitney et al in the olden days. But the pace of the impact is so much faster now.

    I would only add to your point that organizing principles and management know-how amplify raw engineering advances too. So does a world-wide venture capital industry.

    Yes, we're probably going to have to find things the average Joe can do in the coming age you describe. So let's start by teaching them to show up for work,
  14. @mtn cur
    Throughout the recent few centuries of "western civilization" the practice of businessmen sending armies of armies to interfere with business was and remains the driver of government policy. Hence, maintaining a presence atop mid east oil despite the glut of domestic supply can be sheep dipped as fighting ISIS et al, while enabling cheaper and more profitable shipping of petro to India and China. Neutron bombs appear more and more likely a solution to problems of urban renewal.

    The war on Western Civ (and its people) ignores the elephant in the room.

    What do the Anti-White warriors think will happen if they completely overtake and overthrow Western systems in North America and Europe? Have they forgotten China?

    My sense is that Chinese people are very, very pragmatic. If, say, Africa has lots of useful minerals and land and stuff, and the only impediment to taking it all are a few pesky natives, well….

    Genghis Khan may make a reappearance, armed with the best weapons a society topped by very bright people can produce. I’m reminded of Churchill ordering mustard gas bombs be dropped from aircraft onto horse-riding tribesmen in what is currently Iraq.

    Read More
    • Replies: @athEIst
    the only impediment to taking it all are a few pesky natives,
    of course there will be 4,OOO,OOO,OOO pesky natives
    ...and then again...maybe not.

    Like the tidbit about Churchill...hadn't heard it before..but believable and sorta comical in a sick sort of way.
  15. @TheJester
    Fred,

    As usual a very nice article, but I question your description of high intelligence in the social very and political scene in Washington, DC. Having worked that scene for three decades, what I see are a lot of people with functional disabilities with simple transitive reasoning: A-->B-->C, therefore A-->C ... with transitive reasoning being the rational ability to anticipate and predict the consequences of one's decisions. In Washington, these decisions translate into bureaucratic dictums and social, military, and economic policies that impact billions of people and world peace. However, those on the Washington scene typically miss the bit about consequences and find themselves in continual crisis trying to manage the "blowback" from consequences that were predictable and predicted.

    Ruby in the movie Cold Mountain: "Every piece of this is man's bullshit. They call this war "a cloud over the land" but they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say "Shit, it's rainin'!"

    Assuming that intelligence is associated with the ability to make rational decisions, what I see in Washington are lots of powerful people who misconstrue power for intelligence. In often thinly veiled attempts to increase personal power, they make decisions calculated to benefit themselves, their clubs, and their clans at the expense of their public missions and the common good. Consequences be damned!

    I see the same thing in the assumed intelligence of the people on Wall Street. Collectively, these powerful groups of people are in the business of looting ... not business and certainly not government. If they were so intelligent, they would not find it so hard to anticipate the "blowback" from their decisions.

    Power corrupts (people’s reason, not just morals.)
    Success sows the seeds of failure via arrogance.

    Very bright people lie to themselves and rationalize their emotion- and biases-driven impulses just like everyone else. They just have the mental horsepower to obtain high positions where we can watch them do so more easily.

    The problem with DC is that it’s populated by people who have utterly no respect whatsoever for the vast warehouse of knowledge they lack, nor for the large quantity of what they think they know that just ain’t so.

    But as Charles Hugh Smith put it, “Certainty sells better than hedged hesitancy.”

    Fools (even high IQ fools) are sure when the wise are cautious.

    Read More
    • Replies: @TheJester
    Here is what I was trying to say (the short story):

    There is a difference between being clever and being intelligent. Clever people tend to focus on means ... usually for personal aggrandizement. Sociopaths, for example, tend to be very clever people. Intelligent people, on the other hand, have the ability to select the right (meaning moral) ends AND the right means to those ends.

    Washington is hopelessly full of dangerously clever people. We can only hope, as an act of faith, that someday the culture of power matures to the point it starts to place an equal emphasis on (moral) ends.

  16. @The Anti-Gnostic
    Excellent, sir.

    I'll tell you what is coming: a Guaranteed Minimum Income, in exchange for which you will get your tubes tied or pipes snipped after two children, or maybe one, or maybe none depending on your biological and social profile. This will happen in the next five years, after intelligence is mapped out on the genome and Tabula Rasa goes to its reluctant, long-delayed death.

    This will happen in the next five years, after intelligence is mapped out on the genome and Tabula Rasa goes to its reluctant, long-delayed death.

    Careful with that. The truly smart people know that so-called ‘intelligence’ is actually four orthogonal qualities:

    a) Knowledge, specifically, domain-specific knowledge. (E.g., playing chess, or calculating definite integrals.)
    b) Formal logic and the ability to reason.
    c) Verbal skills and language ability.
    d) Ability to learn new skills and adapt to non-standard circumstances quickly.

    Qualities a, b and c are easily trained by a rigorous regime of exercises, regardless of innate IQ ability; some might be naturally more talented than others, but just like with physical exercise, success is usually 90% hard work and 10% talent.

    Quality d is innate (and, arguably, exactly that which makes us human in the first place), but impossible to quantify.

    In other words: intelligence is inheritable, but mostly not genetic. Intelligent parents start training their kids to be intelligent even before birth.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic

    Qualities a, b and c are easily trained by a rigorous regime of exercises, regardless of innate IQ ability; some might be naturally more talented than others, but just like with physical exercise, success is usually 90% hard work and 10% talent.
     
    Neural tissue is very different from bone and muscle. We should be seeing test scores equalize by the time people are taking MCATs, GREs, etc.; they don't. Equality of inputs has never, never-ever, yielded equality of outcomes. And this also holds true for physical exercise, come to think of it.

    The notion that Mind is independent of Brain is persistent; everybody wants to think their success is attributable to their virtuous living. But the unfounded Mind/Brain dichotomy is going to follow the Flat Earth into history.
    , @dc.sunsets
    Really. My wife, the 4th grade teacher with Special Ed kids now mainstreamed into her classes, would disagree with points a, b, and c being even remotely standard across kids.

    This is after teaching since 1983 and raising three sons all of whom are >99th percentile in IQ, school performance (1 got full academic scholarship & comp sci degree, 2 got a 4.0 in 7 semesters getting a Mech Eng degree, and 3 finished college at 20 with his comp sci degree) and all are extremely well employed (patenting innovation, etc.)

    All four of your categories are innate. All are highly heritable. The spectrum of changing them via instruction is quite limited.
  17. @Oldeguy
    America's clearest eyed and straightest speaking social commentator strikes again.
    One can expect the Black Reparations push to eventually succeed due to the obvious, if totally unmentionable, problem that Fred skillfully outlined.
    Gotta do somethin' with all those folks and eventually you run out of plausible reasons for utterly ineffective Federal giveaway grants to "close the gap".
    It's more humane and tactful to tell people that their free lunch was somehow earned by the sufferings of their ancestors than that they are superfluous burdens to a system whose only value yardstick is productivity.

    There’s always the option of make work. For example, some could be put to work in highly subsidized agricultural ventures. Although it’s unlikely, it would be nice if jobs, that have some use to somebody, could be found for their skill set instead of just paying them to be entirely superfluous.

    Read More
  18. It’s not just the IQ85 types who will have no value in the by-and-by. That will be true for the IQ115 types, as well. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said as much at the World Economic Forum in Davos a couple of years ago, when he asserted that vast numbers of middle-class jobs would vanish in the next few years as entire industries are automated and no new jobs created.
    It’s estimated (Ben Way, Randall Collins, Edward Glaeser, Robert Pollin, Sheldon Wolin) that 70 percent of existing jobs will disappear over the next 30 years and unemployment will be a chronic 50 percent at minimum.
    The most common job for men in the US is driving something, and all those jobs will disappear. So will jobs in accountancy, law, medicine, management jobs of all sorts, jobs in the armed forces….
    I have some association with an Indian reservation, home of the remnants of a once mighty and proud people much admired by whites who encountered them in the 19th century. Unemployment on that reservation is a chronic 80 percent. What do the people do with all their free time? They drink and take drugs and eat junk food until they are diabetic. They watch stupid TV programs and fap to porn. They throw their trash over the hill behind their shacks. Wife-beating, rape and child molestation are rampant. They crash their cars and ATVs during the day, brawl and gut-knife each other at night. And as the years go by, their population slowly dwindles.
    Is that the future for all but the top IQ quintile of humanity? Will that top quintile feel obliged to keep millions…billions…of useless people around, when all they do is waste natural resources, befoul the environment and otherwise make a nuisance of themselves?
    I don’t know, but I can’t help thinking of what happened to the US horse population when automation took away their usefulness. In 1915, there were 26.5 million horses and mules in the United States. In 1960, there were 3 million. That figure has rebounded some since then, at least for horses, but they are only kept around for amusement. Nobody needs a horse anymore.
    How can somebody who works forward stock at Sears, or does tax returns for H&R Block, make himself as entertaining as a horse for the cognitive elite overlords? If he can’t….

    Read More
    • Replies: @Captain Willard
    It's amusing to the DC assholes when gun-toting steel workers lose their jobs. It will be less amusing when middle-management liberal paper pushers are replaced by IBM Watson and/or outsourced to the Philippines.
    , @Ivy
    "Off to the knackers"

    Bonus: "Ahh, the treadle"
    , @Truth

    I have some association with an Indian reservation, home of the remnants of a once mighty and proud people much admired by whites who encountered them in the 19th century.
     
    Not that admired, really. More given lip-service than admired. If admired, your post wouldn't be happening.
    , @Sam Shama
    Superintelligence will render all human intelligence redundant, depopulate the earth of all but what it considers useful.

    We do have the first move; let's use it well shall we?
  19. The minimum wage is pants on head retarded economic policy. I don’t see any rebuttal here to any of the economic arguments against it, just the simpleminded rambling I’m used to seeing in leftist rags.

    The minimum wage should be abolished and replaced with a basic guaranteed income in conjunction with incentives for voluntary sterilization. If that doesn’t work, make it forced.

    Read More
    • Replies: @tsotha

    The minimum wage is pants on head retarded economic policy. I don’t see any rebuttal here to any of the economic arguments against it, just the simpleminded rambling I’m used to seeing in leftist rags.
     
    Yep. Minimum wage is one of those facile but economically stupid policies that takes whatever problems you have and makes them worse. And all the while Fred and his fellow travelers can feel better about themselves for having "helped" poor people.

    But hey, all those newly unemployed people? Screw 'em, eh Fred?
    , @Truth

    If that doesn’t work, make it forced.
     
    If the elites just come by and shoot you in the head, sir, there is no need to pay you minimum wage.
  20. @dc.sunsets
    The war on Western Civ (and its people) ignores the elephant in the room.

    What do the Anti-White warriors think will happen if they completely overtake and overthrow Western systems in North America and Europe? Have they forgotten China?

    My sense is that Chinese people are very, very pragmatic. If, say, Africa has lots of useful minerals and land and stuff, and the only impediment to taking it all are a few pesky natives, well....

    Genghis Khan may make a reappearance, armed with the best weapons a society topped by very bright people can produce. I'm reminded of Churchill ordering mustard gas bombs be dropped from aircraft onto horse-riding tribesmen in what is currently Iraq.

    the only impediment to taking it all are a few pesky natives,
    of course there will be 4,OOO,OOO,OOO pesky natives
    …and then again…maybe not.

    Like the tidbit about Churchill…hadn’t heard it before..but believable and sorta comical in a sick sort of way.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    East Asians have a history of bloodthirstiness that makes Europeans look like milk and toast. If every the Chinese or Japanese decide they want Africa, or the Arabian Peninsula and don't want the pesky natives to interfere, I have no doubt that a convenient plague would occur. Lest we forget, Japan's military undertook the most horrific biological warfare experiments (using Chinese peasants as test subjects) and not one thing was done about it.
  21. @anonymous coward

    This will happen in the next five years, after intelligence is mapped out on the genome and Tabula Rasa goes to its reluctant, long-delayed death.
     
    Careful with that. The truly smart people know that so-called 'intelligence' is actually four orthogonal qualities:

    a) Knowledge, specifically, domain-specific knowledge. (E.g., playing chess, or calculating definite integrals.)
    b) Formal logic and the ability to reason.
    c) Verbal skills and language ability.
    d) Ability to learn new skills and adapt to non-standard circumstances quickly.

    Qualities a, b and c are easily trained by a rigorous regime of exercises, regardless of innate IQ ability; some might be naturally more talented than others, but just like with physical exercise, success is usually 90% hard work and 10% talent.

    Quality d is innate (and, arguably, exactly that which makes us human in the first place), but impossible to quantify.

    In other words: intelligence is inheritable, but mostly not genetic. Intelligent parents start training their kids to be intelligent even before birth.

    Qualities a, b and c are easily trained by a rigorous regime of exercises, regardless of innate IQ ability; some might be naturally more talented than others, but just like with physical exercise, success is usually 90% hard work and 10% talent.

    Neural tissue is very different from bone and muscle. We should be seeing test scores equalize by the time people are taking MCATs, GREs, etc.; they don’t. Equality of inputs has never, never-ever, yielded equality of outcomes. And this also holds true for physical exercise, come to think of it.

    The notion that Mind is independent of Brain is persistent; everybody wants to think their success is attributable to their virtuous living. But the unfounded Mind/Brain dichotomy is going to follow the Flat Earth into history.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    Neural tissue is very different from bone and muscle.
     
    True.

    Being intelligent is a never-ending treadmill. You have to start training before you're 24 months old, and if you ever stop you'll fall off.

    Again: intelligence is inheritable, but not genetic. This is why countries (like Korea) have raised their IQ's from Africa-level to Europe-level in just two generations.
    , @Anonymous
    So are you just LARPing as an Orthodox Christian then? If even the notion of Mind not being wholly reducible to physical material is too much for you, then presumably all that Christianity stuff is even more so.
  22. There are two kinds of markets, free and rigged.

    I hadn’t figured Fred for the rigged ones, but life’s full of surprises.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chris Mallory
    The markets have been rigged for at least a century now.
  23. @Homer Chimpson
    The minimum wage is pants on head retarded economic policy. I don't see any rebuttal here to any of the economic arguments against it, just the simpleminded rambling I'm used to seeing in leftist rags.

    The minimum wage should be abolished and replaced with a basic guaranteed income in conjunction with incentives for voluntary sterilization. If that doesn't work, make it forced.

    The minimum wage is pants on head retarded economic policy. I don’t see any rebuttal here to any of the economic arguments against it, just the simpleminded rambling I’m used to seeing in leftist rags.

    Yep. Minimum wage is one of those facile but economically stupid policies that takes whatever problems you have and makes them worse. And all the while Fred and his fellow travelers can feel better about themselves for having “helped” poor people.

    But hey, all those newly unemployed people? Screw ‘em, eh Fred?

    Read More
  24. @dc.sunsets
    My wife (who teaches 4th grade) would disagree with you. Kids in her class are quite obviously of differing "mental voltages." The low power ones struggle with simple concepts, and anyone who thinks just adding more time and training can make a slow-witted child into a calculus-wielding mechanical engineer is an irredeemable moron.

    I have three sons in STEM fields. The suggestion that more than a percent or two of all Americans could contribute anything at all in their workgroups is utter silliness.

    The one who is a mechanical engineer (with a patent applied for already by 27) related a story of a supplier of a part; the supplier is making the production of the part entirely automated to eliminate the human variability that leads to QC rejects. This is the future, like it or not. My son's "product" will be amplified by automated production in much the same way a musician's "product" can be amplified by endless copying of the electronic MP3 file.

    Imagine engineers' aptitudes selected for and rewarded like rock stars, an ever-fewer top talents earn megabucks satisfying the demand from millions of "fans" while the next tier of engineers barely gets by and everyone below that isn't even remotely competitive.

    Fred's column highlights an inescapable predicament. An entirely new or separate way of "valuing" people's contributions to their fellow men must evolve. If automation ushers in a new wave of seemingly unlimited resources, it will be necessary for new standards of judgement of what constitutes value outside of that commercial emporium. Our current obsession with "consumption uber alles" must end.

    @dcsunsets

    I agree with your wife, but that wasn’t my point. My point is that most people in the Us, if they’re sober and willing, no matter how stupid, can produce more than $8-10/hr of marginal labor product if we get them into the workforce and train them.

    Therefore any barrier, like the minimum wage, to getting them into the workforce is a problem .

    Your second point is very profound. A good engineer can have world-wide impact now. Sure, so did Watt, Whitney et al in the olden days. But the pace of the impact is so much faster now.

    I would only add to your point that organizing principles and management know-how amplify raw engineering advances too. So does a world-wide venture capital industry.

    Yes, we’re probably going to have to find things the average Joe can do in the coming age you describe. So let’s start by teaching them to show up for work,

    Read More
    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    We face a transition more wrenching than the Industrial Revolution.

    No one could foresee what kinds of work people would do to create value, because (obviously) such things were still over the horizon.

    This is the hardest part; politicians and policy makers CANNOT see over that horizon either. No one can. The only way to find out what people will do is to step out of the way as much as possible and see what results.

    The problem is that people are not wired to let complex systems do their spontaneous organization. Few have the mental HP to even see that self-organizing systems exist, much less leave them alone to produce what they will organically.

    Instead we get the NRA, WPA and a host of other stupid ideas from smart people who "have a plan." This is a source of constant human misery.
    , @Anonymous
    "My point is that most people in the Us, if they’re sober and willing, no matter how stupid, can produce more than $8-10/hr of marginal labor product if we get them into the workforce and train them."

    How do you know this? It seems like an article of faith. Fred was saying just the opposite.

    Your qualifier "no matter how stupid" seems to throw the balance of plausibility to Fred's thesis. Training works no matter how stupid people are?

    In WW1, recruiters engaged in the task of skill-sorting draftees found through testing that a significant percentage of them not only did not know how to read a map, but also could not be taught how to read a map.
  25. @Whoever
    It's not just the IQ85 types who will have no value in the by-and-by. That will be true for the IQ115 types, as well. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said as much at the World Economic Forum in Davos a couple of years ago, when he asserted that vast numbers of middle-class jobs would vanish in the next few years as entire industries are automated and no new jobs created.
    It's estimated (Ben Way, Randall Collins, Edward Glaeser, Robert Pollin, Sheldon Wolin) that 70 percent of existing jobs will disappear over the next 30 years and unemployment will be a chronic 50 percent at minimum.
    The most common job for men in the US is driving something, and all those jobs will disappear. So will jobs in accountancy, law, medicine, management jobs of all sorts, jobs in the armed forces....
    I have some association with an Indian reservation, home of the remnants of a once mighty and proud people much admired by whites who encountered them in the 19th century. Unemployment on that reservation is a chronic 80 percent. What do the people do with all their free time? They drink and take drugs and eat junk food until they are diabetic. They watch stupid TV programs and fap to porn. They throw their trash over the hill behind their shacks. Wife-beating, rape and child molestation are rampant. They crash their cars and ATVs during the day, brawl and gut-knife each other at night. And as the years go by, their population slowly dwindles.
    Is that the future for all but the top IQ quintile of humanity? Will that top quintile feel obliged to keep millions...billions...of useless people around, when all they do is waste natural resources, befoul the environment and otherwise make a nuisance of themselves?
    I don't know, but I can't help thinking of what happened to the US horse population when automation took away their usefulness. In 1915, there were 26.5 million horses and mules in the United States. In 1960, there were 3 million. That figure has rebounded some since then, at least for horses, but they are only kept around for amusement. Nobody needs a horse anymore.
    How can somebody who works forward stock at Sears, or does tax returns for H&R Block, make himself as entertaining as a horse for the cognitive elite overlords? If he can't....

    It’s amusing to the DC assholes when gun-toting steel workers lose their jobs. It will be less amusing when middle-management liberal paper pushers are replaced by IBM Watson and/or outsourced to the Philippines.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    Yes, but a lot of the middle managers also own guns...the more expensive ones, and not all of them are leftists.

    When this thing finally blows, we may discover quite a few men willing to hoist the Jolly Roger and begin slitting throats. Lots of them may have suits and ties in their closets.
  26. @Whoever
    It's not just the IQ85 types who will have no value in the by-and-by. That will be true for the IQ115 types, as well. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said as much at the World Economic Forum in Davos a couple of years ago, when he asserted that vast numbers of middle-class jobs would vanish in the next few years as entire industries are automated and no new jobs created.
    It's estimated (Ben Way, Randall Collins, Edward Glaeser, Robert Pollin, Sheldon Wolin) that 70 percent of existing jobs will disappear over the next 30 years and unemployment will be a chronic 50 percent at minimum.
    The most common job for men in the US is driving something, and all those jobs will disappear. So will jobs in accountancy, law, medicine, management jobs of all sorts, jobs in the armed forces....
    I have some association with an Indian reservation, home of the remnants of a once mighty and proud people much admired by whites who encountered them in the 19th century. Unemployment on that reservation is a chronic 80 percent. What do the people do with all their free time? They drink and take drugs and eat junk food until they are diabetic. They watch stupid TV programs and fap to porn. They throw their trash over the hill behind their shacks. Wife-beating, rape and child molestation are rampant. They crash their cars and ATVs during the day, brawl and gut-knife each other at night. And as the years go by, their population slowly dwindles.
    Is that the future for all but the top IQ quintile of humanity? Will that top quintile feel obliged to keep millions...billions...of useless people around, when all they do is waste natural resources, befoul the environment and otherwise make a nuisance of themselves?
    I don't know, but I can't help thinking of what happened to the US horse population when automation took away their usefulness. In 1915, there were 26.5 million horses and mules in the United States. In 1960, there were 3 million. That figure has rebounded some since then, at least for horses, but they are only kept around for amusement. Nobody needs a horse anymore.
    How can somebody who works forward stock at Sears, or does tax returns for H&R Block, make himself as entertaining as a horse for the cognitive elite overlords? If he can't....

    “Off to the knackers”

    Bonus: “Ahh, the treadle”

    Read More
    • Replies: @another fred

    “Ahh, the treadle”
     

    One on't cross beams gone owt askew on treadle.
     
    /Obligatory Python reference.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uprjmoSMJ-o

  27. @anonymous coward

    This will happen in the next five years, after intelligence is mapped out on the genome and Tabula Rasa goes to its reluctant, long-delayed death.
     
    Careful with that. The truly smart people know that so-called 'intelligence' is actually four orthogonal qualities:

    a) Knowledge, specifically, domain-specific knowledge. (E.g., playing chess, or calculating definite integrals.)
    b) Formal logic and the ability to reason.
    c) Verbal skills and language ability.
    d) Ability to learn new skills and adapt to non-standard circumstances quickly.

    Qualities a, b and c are easily trained by a rigorous regime of exercises, regardless of innate IQ ability; some might be naturally more talented than others, but just like with physical exercise, success is usually 90% hard work and 10% talent.

    Quality d is innate (and, arguably, exactly that which makes us human in the first place), but impossible to quantify.

    In other words: intelligence is inheritable, but mostly not genetic. Intelligent parents start training their kids to be intelligent even before birth.

    Really. My wife, the 4th grade teacher with Special Ed kids now mainstreamed into her classes, would disagree with points a, b, and c being even remotely standard across kids.

    This is after teaching since 1983 and raising three sons all of whom are >99th percentile in IQ, school performance (1 got full academic scholarship & comp sci degree, 2 got a 4.0 in 7 semesters getting a Mech Eng degree, and 3 finished college at 20 with his comp sci degree) and all are extremely well employed (patenting innovation, etc.)

    All four of your categories are innate. All are highly heritable. The spectrum of changing them via instruction is quite limited.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    All four of your categories are innate. All are highly heritable.
     
    Heritable, yes. Innate, no. Obviously Mowgli will never be intelligent, regardless of his innate capabilities.

    The spectrum of changing them via instruction is quite limited.
     
    By the time a child becomes old enough to be instructed he's already too old to be made intelligent. The foundations of intelligence are built at the earliest age when the brain is still malleable. (3 years old and under.)
    , @Sam Shama
    Agree. There are hard and relatively low ceilings on a, b and c.
    , @Corvinus
    "Really. My wife, the 4th grade teacher with Special Ed kids now mainstreamed into her classes, would disagree with points a, b, and c being even remotely standard across kids."

    What race are those kids?
  28. @athEIst
    the only impediment to taking it all are a few pesky natives,
    of course there will be 4,OOO,OOO,OOO pesky natives
    ...and then again...maybe not.

    Like the tidbit about Churchill...hadn't heard it before..but believable and sorta comical in a sick sort of way.

    East Asians have a history of bloodthirstiness that makes Europeans look like milk and toast. If every the Chinese or Japanese decide they want Africa, or the Arabian Peninsula and don’t want the pesky natives to interfere, I have no doubt that a convenient plague would occur. Lest we forget, Japan’s military undertook the most horrific biological warfare experiments (using Chinese peasants as test subjects) and not one thing was done about it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Truth

    If every the Chinese or Japanese decide they want Africa, or the Arabian Peninsula and don’t want the pesky natives to interfere,
     
    Japan will more or less be finished in 50 years, do to the nuclear accident.
  29. @another fred

    The real question is, what does the country do with the large and growing number of people whose labor is worth less than the minimum wage?
     
    Keep in mind that throughout history the main value of their "labor" was in their capacity for coalitional violence. A significant proportion of humanity has little else to offer a society besides a capacity for low value grunt labor and a willingness commit violence on its behalf. That use of their "labor" has recently been held in low regard, but the book War Before Civilization, by Lawrence Keeley argues well that this capacity has a long pedigree.

    As Fred Reed so often reminds us, said willingness is often inversely proportional to the risk that one might become the victim of the same violence, but the thousands flocking to ISIS are witness to the fact the lust to commit coalitional violence is still alive in the human breast.

    “Keep in mind that throughout history the main value of their ‘labor’ was in their capacity for coalitional violence. A significant proportion of humanity has little else to offer a society besides a capacity for low value grunt labor and a willingness commit violence on its behalf. (…)”

    Periodic war, whatever else it may be, is a means of keeping the numbers of that “significant portion of humanity ” in check. The world has had such surpluses before the present, most recently in the 1930s. Your comment reminds me of Sen. Burton K. Wheeler’s remark that FDR’s lend-lease bill, if passed, “would plow under every fourth American boy” – alluding to the New Deal practice of plowing under surplus crops.

    In fact, it was not the New Deal but rather World War II that lifted America out of the Great Depression. Unemployment had been as high as 19% in 1939. Wartime spending revived American heavy industry, while the draft removed large numbers of young men from the civilian workforce – many of them permanently. The policy of plowing under crops failed to restore prosperity; to what extent did that of plowing American boys under lead to the post-war boom?

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  30. @Captain Willard
    @dcsunsets

    I agree with your wife, but that wasn't my point. My point is that most people in the Us, if they're sober and willing, no matter how stupid, can produce more than $8-10/hr of marginal labor product if we get them into the workforce and train them.

    Therefore any barrier, like the minimum wage, to getting them into the workforce is a problem .

    Your second point is very profound. A good engineer can have world-wide impact now. Sure, so did Watt, Whitney et al in the olden days. But the pace of the impact is so much faster now.

    I would only add to your point that organizing principles and management know-how amplify raw engineering advances too. So does a world-wide venture capital industry.

    Yes, we're probably going to have to find things the average Joe can do in the coming age you describe. So let's start by teaching them to show up for work,

    We face a transition more wrenching than the Industrial Revolution.

    No one could foresee what kinds of work people would do to create value, because (obviously) such things were still over the horizon.

    This is the hardest part; politicians and policy makers CANNOT see over that horizon either. No one can. The only way to find out what people will do is to step out of the way as much as possible and see what results.

    The problem is that people are not wired to let complex systems do their spontaneous organization. Few have the mental HP to even see that self-organizing systems exist, much less leave them alone to produce what they will organically.

    Instead we get the NRA, WPA and a host of other stupid ideas from smart people who “have a plan.” This is a source of constant human misery.

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  31. @Captain Willard
    It's amusing to the DC assholes when gun-toting steel workers lose their jobs. It will be less amusing when middle-management liberal paper pushers are replaced by IBM Watson and/or outsourced to the Philippines.

    Yes, but a lot of the middle managers also own guns…the more expensive ones, and not all of them are leftists.

    When this thing finally blows, we may discover quite a few men willing to hoist the Jolly Roger and begin slitting throats. Lots of them may have suits and ties in their closets.

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    • Replies: @Stonehands
    "When this thing finally blows, we may discover quite a few men willing to hoist the Jolly Roger and begin slitting throats. Lots of them may have suits and ties in their closets......."

    I doubt it, suit and tie individuals have chosen an unnatural lifestyle of paper shuffling and duplicity that
    manifests in their sickly wan faces. Pray that the power stays on, you imbeciles in DC, a more vigorous element of your population is prepared to pounce.

    , @Corvinus
    "When this thing finally blows, we may discover quite a few men willing to hoist the Jolly Roger and begin slitting throats. Lots of them may have suits and ties in their closets."

    What is the source of constant misery is your insistence that today's men, whom have been referred as pansies, are going to go Full Metal Jacket on the system if and when Doomsday occurs.
    Your Armageddon imagery is one of science fiction.
    , @Truth

    When this thing finally blows, we may discover quite a few men willing to hoist the Jolly Roger and begin slitting throats. Lots of them may have suits and ties in their closets.
     
    They'll have to lose 50-70 lbs. first, to make it up the flagpole.
  32. If you are upset at people not being hired at wage rates you consider acceptable, hire them or shut up about it. If you think you can make a profit buying their labor at the rate you think should be the minimum do so. If you are so concerned about their welfare you don’t care about whether it makes a loss, make the loss yourself. Otherwise the people you condemn as “greedy” and scoff at the notion that they might care about poor blacks are doing more for them than you are.

    Yes abolishing the minimum wage would allow them to “push wages as close to starvation as he can get away with. ” but that’s still futher away from starvation than not having any income. Yes you should follow the money and the money that’s pushing the minimum wage is unions who don’t want competition. Nowhere has a minimum wage been brought in to benefit the worst off workers. It’s brought in to kneecap those workers so that better off workers can raise their rates. Some people do actually need the freedom to work at whatever rates you don’t like, because the alternative is deep poverty, and at least this way they get experience and references.

    It’s easy to determine which supporters of an increased minimum wage actually care poor workers. They’ll offer to top up the wages of those on the minimum wage, supplying the difference between what it is now and what they’d like. Nobody ever does this.

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  33. Excess labor supply (immigration) = lower wages.

    Enabling the stupid to breed without insisting they take financial responsibility for their offspring is suicidal.

    It’s assumed here that the takers actually want to work. I have seen little to support that notion.

    Basic stuff really.

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  34. @dc.sunsets
    Human males, stripped of the rational mind's restraint, are nothing but war machines. This is revealed by adding alcohol to most men; violence is not an uncommon result.

    Civilization periodically contains this natural state, but the peace never lasts forever. Humans are inherently animals of a particular kind. We cannot escape our nature. (This is not to say women are, somehow, superior. On the contrary, they too have an impulsive natural behavior set, one most people try to ignore but unlike male nature, women aren't socialized out of it by the time they reach adulthood.)

    When the cycle of war returns there is an historically unprecedented amount of human blood now available to spill. What drives the violence won't be remotely rational, so attempting to thwart the cycle with appeals to reason will fail and fail utterly.

    Compare the wonder of a rose unfolding to the thrill of vengeance and lust unbridled.

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  35. “Carefully ignored is the question that will be crucial in coming decades: What to do about an ever-increasing number of people for whom there is no work.”

    That is indeed the question, but it begs the question of whether or not the minimum wage keeps these people out of the market.

    “The duller probably clock an IQ of 120.”

    Stanford-Binet or Terman? Just kidding. Yes, they are bright, but I think 120 might be a bit generous, and EQ-wise they are generally utter failures.

    “A large part of the population can’t learn-much of anything. Not won’t. Can’t. Displaced auto workers cannot be retrained as IT professionals.”

    Well, technically they “can,” but like the proverbial horse led to water, they can’t be made to retrain. As I have commented a few times in these pages, the skills most people (including the best and brightest in DC) identify as their most marketable tend to be rather sticky, and that self-identification often proves to be inter-generational (“Daddy was a coal miner, so was his father, so why can’t I be a coal miner?”) .

    “This is capitalism in its perfection.”

    Not, it is not. Capitalism in its raw form would recognize the potential value of the human capital it is presented and employ it in ways to maximise the value that is unlocked.

    In places in the “Lesser Developed Countries,” they send people outside to cut grass and hedges with clippers or rake leaves with a rake, and they are paid accordingly. In the West we give a few of the eligible workforce minimum wage and equip them with electric trimmers and leaf blowers to do the job, then we tax the profit gained by our “higher productivity” to then turn around and provide dole to those we toss or keep out of work because we can’t afford to pay them all the minimum wage to do make-work.

    To be frank, I’m hard pressed at first to decide which system is fairer, but the former seems to be a more free and fair exchange of human capital for wages even if it seems to be inherently unfair.

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  36. @Ivy
    "Off to the knackers"

    Bonus: "Ahh, the treadle"

    “Ahh, the treadle”

    One on’t cross beams gone owt askew on treadle.

    /Obligatory Python reference.

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  37. On this topic you appear to be commenting on something you know nothing about Fred.

    Other than the part about “there will be no need for low skill labor because it will be automated” ……….because it will.

    If you simply removed all value judgements the whole article would be better. The reason being is simple that automation will be. No matter what value judgement you put on it. It will be. Why all the judgemental clap trap with no ultimate point?

    I’m beginning to think you’re not as smart as you think you are.

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    • Replies: @Realist
    "I’m beginning to think you’re not as smart as you think you are."

    That's obvious.
  38. @The Anti-Gnostic

    Qualities a, b and c are easily trained by a rigorous regime of exercises, regardless of innate IQ ability; some might be naturally more talented than others, but just like with physical exercise, success is usually 90% hard work and 10% talent.
     
    Neural tissue is very different from bone and muscle. We should be seeing test scores equalize by the time people are taking MCATs, GREs, etc.; they don't. Equality of inputs has never, never-ever, yielded equality of outcomes. And this also holds true for physical exercise, come to think of it.

    The notion that Mind is independent of Brain is persistent; everybody wants to think their success is attributable to their virtuous living. But the unfounded Mind/Brain dichotomy is going to follow the Flat Earth into history.

    Neural tissue is very different from bone and muscle.

    True.

    Being intelligent is a never-ending treadmill. You have to start training before you’re 24 months old, and if you ever stop you’ll fall off.

    Again: intelligence is inheritable, but not genetic. This is why countries (like Korea) have raised their IQ’s from Africa-level to Europe-level in just two generations.

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    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    Again: intelligence is inheritable, but not genetic. This is why countries (like Korea) have raised their IQ’s from Africa-level to Europe-level in just two generations.
     
    And it responds to good nutrition moreso than any other measurable factor.

    Damn, huh? ;-)
  39. @dc.sunsets
    Really. My wife, the 4th grade teacher with Special Ed kids now mainstreamed into her classes, would disagree with points a, b, and c being even remotely standard across kids.

    This is after teaching since 1983 and raising three sons all of whom are >99th percentile in IQ, school performance (1 got full academic scholarship & comp sci degree, 2 got a 4.0 in 7 semesters getting a Mech Eng degree, and 3 finished college at 20 with his comp sci degree) and all are extremely well employed (patenting innovation, etc.)

    All four of your categories are innate. All are highly heritable. The spectrum of changing them via instruction is quite limited.

    All four of your categories are innate. All are highly heritable.

    Heritable, yes. Innate, no. Obviously Mowgli will never be intelligent, regardless of his innate capabilities.

    The spectrum of changing them via instruction is quite limited.

    By the time a child becomes old enough to be instructed he’s already too old to be made intelligent. The foundations of intelligence are built at the earliest age when the brain is still malleable. (3 years old and under.)

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    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic

    The foundations of intelligence are built at the earliest age when the brain is still malleable. (3 years old and under.)
     
    -
    This is the idealistic premise behind Head Start, but it's observably false. Educators love the idea though, because it's fun to teach neotenous, non-threatening humans to sort shapes and add apples and pick out their name. When it's a roomful of toddlers laughing and bumping in to each other, everyone's a budding Einstein.

    As children age, their innate abilities come to the fore. Some start falling behind at the jump from spelling to grammar. Others when moving beyond simple math to algebra. Calculus is another huge barrier. So is reading an entire book. This is a phenomenon observed by everyone; some of our peers stop making B's by the 8th grade, some the 10th, some can't make it to college, then masters, Ph.D.

    The romantic notion that we just have to get the inputs right at the right time, including in utero (but not a day earlier!) is wrecking our education system.
  40. “The city attracts the highly bright.”

    Not so much. What the city does attract is lying, corrupt, greedy bastards .

    “The duller probably clock an IQ of 120.”

    You’re just guessing. Give citation.

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    • Agree: John Jeremiah Smith
    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    Not so much. What the city does attract is lying, corrupt, greedy bastards .
     
    Insert comma and "fraudulent" after "lying".
  41. @Freemon Sandlewould
    On this topic you appear to be commenting on something you know nothing about Fred.

    Other than the part about "there will be no need for low skill labor because it will be automated" ..........because it will.

    If you simply removed all value judgements the whole article would be better. The reason being is simple that automation will be. No matter what value judgement you put on it. It will be. Why all the judgemental clap trap with no ultimate point?

    I'm beginning to think you're not as smart as you think you are.

    “I’m beginning to think you’re not as smart as you think you are.”

    That’s obvious.

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  42. @TheJester
    Fred,

    As usual a very nice article, but I question your description of high intelligence in the social very and political scene in Washington, DC. Having worked that scene for three decades, what I see are a lot of people with functional disabilities with simple transitive reasoning: A-->B-->C, therefore A-->C ... with transitive reasoning being the rational ability to anticipate and predict the consequences of one's decisions. In Washington, these decisions translate into bureaucratic dictums and social, military, and economic policies that impact billions of people and world peace. However, those on the Washington scene typically miss the bit about consequences and find themselves in continual crisis trying to manage the "blowback" from consequences that were predictable and predicted.

    Ruby in the movie Cold Mountain: "Every piece of this is man's bullshit. They call this war "a cloud over the land" but they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say "Shit, it's rainin'!"

    Assuming that intelligence is associated with the ability to make rational decisions, what I see in Washington are lots of powerful people who misconstrue power for intelligence. In often thinly veiled attempts to increase personal power, they make decisions calculated to benefit themselves, their clubs, and their clans at the expense of their public missions and the common good. Consequences be damned!

    I see the same thing in the assumed intelligence of the people on Wall Street. Collectively, these powerful groups of people are in the business of looting ... not business and certainly not government. If they were so intelligent, they would not find it so hard to anticipate the "blowback" from their decisions.

    “Assuming that intelligence is associated with the ability to make rational decisions, what I see in Washington are lots of powerful people who misconstrue power for intelligence. In often thinly veiled attempts to increase personal power, they make decisions calculated to benefit themselves, their clubs, and their clans at the expense of their public missions and the common good. Consequences be damned!

    I see the same thing in the assumed intelligence of the people on Wall Street. Collectively, these powerful groups of people are in the business of looting … not business and certainly not government. If they were so intelligent, they would not find it so hard to anticipate the “blowback” from their decisions.”

    With this I agree.

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  43. @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Good God, Fred, that was magnificent.

    Not that it matters, but I lived in the DC world that Fred describes, and he couldn't be more correct. The slow kids in class (and I include myself in that category) were 120 to 125 IQ people. The rest were somewhat to dramatically more intelligent. DC is a collection of the smartest kid in the class. It's a truly bizarre place.

    What you have to understand is that these people have no concept of not being intellectually capable of doing something. As Fred discusses, it may take some more time than others, but the idea that they can't learn something outside of quantum physics simply never crosses their minds because, in fact, they can learn almost anything.

    Another thing you need to understand about these people is that everyday people and their problems are theoretical. They've never known the kid of a plumber or a truck driver. (I grew up with those kids even if I knew I wasn't really one of them.) That's not to say that DC people don't have hobbies that involve on the ground grunt work (woodworking, brewing beer, etc.). So, sure, they can imagine being a fine woodworker or a craft brewer, but they can't conceive of working at a lumber yard or moving crates around a Budweiser brewery. Real people are real to DC people.

    It's why I had to leave.

    Look, I was never some "Man of the People" type. But I never hated or discarded the people that I grew up with. DC types truly do either hate those people or simply don't care.

    “Not that it matters, but I lived in the DC world that Fred describes, and he couldn’t be more correct. The slow kids in class (and I include myself in that category) were 120 to 125 IQ people. The rest were somewhat to dramatically more intelligent. DC is a collection of the smartest kid in the class.”

    You live in a dream world. Totally devoid of reality.

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    • Replies: @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Fuck you. I lived in that world for almost two decades. Who are you to tell me that I'm wrong, especially since it jibes with exactly what Fred said. I was simply trying to point out that Fred is right, even if it's hard to believe.

    Have you hung out with people in DC? I don't mean the secretaries or the a couple of years and done crowd. I mean the experienced reporters, the long-term staffers, the consultants, the lawyers, the scientists, the lobbyists, the think-thinkers, etc.

    These people are flat-out smart, at least in a classroom setting. They may be annoying, they may be isolated, but, by God, they are smart. What's more, they always been surrounded by other smart people. That's their world, and it gives them a very skewed idea of reality.
  44. @Homer Chimpson
    The minimum wage is pants on head retarded economic policy. I don't see any rebuttal here to any of the economic arguments against it, just the simpleminded rambling I'm used to seeing in leftist rags.

    The minimum wage should be abolished and replaced with a basic guaranteed income in conjunction with incentives for voluntary sterilization. If that doesn't work, make it forced.

    If that doesn’t work, make it forced.

    If the elites just come by and shoot you in the head, sir, there is no need to pay you minimum wage.

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  45. @Whoever
    It's not just the IQ85 types who will have no value in the by-and-by. That will be true for the IQ115 types, as well. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said as much at the World Economic Forum in Davos a couple of years ago, when he asserted that vast numbers of middle-class jobs would vanish in the next few years as entire industries are automated and no new jobs created.
    It's estimated (Ben Way, Randall Collins, Edward Glaeser, Robert Pollin, Sheldon Wolin) that 70 percent of existing jobs will disappear over the next 30 years and unemployment will be a chronic 50 percent at minimum.
    The most common job for men in the US is driving something, and all those jobs will disappear. So will jobs in accountancy, law, medicine, management jobs of all sorts, jobs in the armed forces....
    I have some association with an Indian reservation, home of the remnants of a once mighty and proud people much admired by whites who encountered them in the 19th century. Unemployment on that reservation is a chronic 80 percent. What do the people do with all their free time? They drink and take drugs and eat junk food until they are diabetic. They watch stupid TV programs and fap to porn. They throw their trash over the hill behind their shacks. Wife-beating, rape and child molestation are rampant. They crash their cars and ATVs during the day, brawl and gut-knife each other at night. And as the years go by, their population slowly dwindles.
    Is that the future for all but the top IQ quintile of humanity? Will that top quintile feel obliged to keep millions...billions...of useless people around, when all they do is waste natural resources, befoul the environment and otherwise make a nuisance of themselves?
    I don't know, but I can't help thinking of what happened to the US horse population when automation took away their usefulness. In 1915, there were 26.5 million horses and mules in the United States. In 1960, there were 3 million. That figure has rebounded some since then, at least for horses, but they are only kept around for amusement. Nobody needs a horse anymore.
    How can somebody who works forward stock at Sears, or does tax returns for H&R Block, make himself as entertaining as a horse for the cognitive elite overlords? If he can't....

    I have some association with an Indian reservation, home of the remnants of a once mighty and proud people much admired by whites who encountered them in the 19th century.

    Not that admired, really. More given lip-service than admired. If admired, your post wouldn’t be happening.

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  46. @dc.sunsets
    East Asians have a history of bloodthirstiness that makes Europeans look like milk and toast. If every the Chinese or Japanese decide they want Africa, or the Arabian Peninsula and don't want the pesky natives to interfere, I have no doubt that a convenient plague would occur. Lest we forget, Japan's military undertook the most horrific biological warfare experiments (using Chinese peasants as test subjects) and not one thing was done about it.

    If every the Chinese or Japanese decide they want Africa, or the Arabian Peninsula and don’t want the pesky natives to interfere,

    Japan will more or less be finished in 50 years, do to the nuclear accident.

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  47. @anonymous coward

    All four of your categories are innate. All are highly heritable.
     
    Heritable, yes. Innate, no. Obviously Mowgli will never be intelligent, regardless of his innate capabilities.

    The spectrum of changing them via instruction is quite limited.
     
    By the time a child becomes old enough to be instructed he's already too old to be made intelligent. The foundations of intelligence are built at the earliest age when the brain is still malleable. (3 years old and under.)

    The foundations of intelligence are built at the earliest age when the brain is still malleable. (3 years old and under.)

    -
    This is the idealistic premise behind Head Start, but it’s observably false. Educators love the idea though, because it’s fun to teach neotenous, non-threatening humans to sort shapes and add apples and pick out their name. When it’s a roomful of toddlers laughing and bumping in to each other, everyone’s a budding Einstein.

    As children age, their innate abilities come to the fore. Some start falling behind at the jump from spelling to grammar. Others when moving beyond simple math to algebra. Calculus is another huge barrier. So is reading an entire book. This is a phenomenon observed by everyone; some of our peers stop making B’s by the 8th grade, some the 10th, some can’t make it to college, then masters, Ph.D.

    The romantic notion that we just have to get the inputs right at the right time, including in utero (but not a day earlier!) is wrecking our education system.

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  48. Being a highly intelligent product of contemporary infomercial, credit card consumer society is on a par with being the brightest kid in special ed.

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  49. @anonymous coward

    Neural tissue is very different from bone and muscle.
     
    True.

    Being intelligent is a never-ending treadmill. You have to start training before you're 24 months old, and if you ever stop you'll fall off.

    Again: intelligence is inheritable, but not genetic. This is why countries (like Korea) have raised their IQ's from Africa-level to Europe-level in just two generations.

    Again: intelligence is inheritable, but not genetic. This is why countries (like Korea) have raised their IQ’s from Africa-level to Europe-level in just two generations.

    And it responds to good nutrition moreso than any other measurable factor.

    Damn, huh? ;-)

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  50. @Realist
    "The city attracts the highly bright."

    Not so much. What the city does attract is lying, corrupt, greedy bastards .

    "The duller probably clock an IQ of 120."

    You're just guessing. Give citation.

    Not so much. What the city does attract is lying, corrupt, greedy bastards .

    Insert comma and “fraudulent” after “lying”.

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  51. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    California recently increased its minimum wage to $15/hour, which will be gradually phased in over the next few years. Governor Brown gave a speech saying that he was not convinced there would be any economic benefit to the increase, but thought it was important to approve the increase for “moral” reasons. He also said increased labor costs would accelerate automation. Last week, the University of California said they would raise the minimum wage for UC employees to $15/hour immediately. This week, they announced they were laying off 500 minimum wage workers, although they claim it had nothing to do with the wage increase.

    I don’t know what the answer is. Won’t employers pass most of their increased labor costs on to their customers? Won’t minimum wage workers have to pay more for the stuff they buy, too?

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  52. I would never believe that such a fine writer like Fred could compose such a piece of trash. Fred criminally neglects asking the ultimate moral question in this discussion- By what moral authority does that criminal mafia known as “government” have to dictate to me and FORCE me to pay a minimum amount for an individual’s labor? Those who protest for a higher wage and recruit the violence of the state to obtain their goal are the type of creatures that I will enjoy watching starve. They have time to scream, yell, and picket but don’t seem to have time to increase their skills and marketability.

    “What to do about an ever-increasing number of people for whom there is no work,” wonders Fred. There is ALWAYS work to be done. The type of work to be done merely changes. It’s up to the individual to adapt.

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    • Replies: @Gurney Halleck
    Interesting comment, RD. I hope you become aware of this reply.

    Your position can be refuted by the simple fact that "government" has the right to impose a tax on you, and an increased minimum wage is certainly a tax on the owners of capital. You cannot dispute the government's right to impose a tax on you because it is the fact that the government has taxed people for generations prior that led to a society that has the means to protect and enforce property rights, that has a nation wide system of infrastructure conductive of the transaction of business across long distances, that has a civilized and educated (for the most part) populace from which you draw your labor pool. All of these things are the result of public INVESTMENTS.

    You cannot take advantage of public investments and take issue with the government's means of creating them.

    Moreover, the government has more of a right to impose a tax on top income earners because high status imposes the cost of low status on others, and since this occurs largely by accident (genetic factors) it is in the interest of society as a whole to somewhat remedy the negative impact of having low status by compensating such people with money at the expense of the people with high status.

    These ideas I recently came across in "The Darwin Economy" by Robert H. Frank and they are arguments that, for the moment being, I find convincing.

  53. @John Jeremiah Smith

    Not so much. What the city does attract is lying, corrupt, greedy bastards .
     
    Insert comma and "fraudulent" after "lying".

    Yes, indeed.

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  54. […] advancement, immigration, and the Singularity are all pointing towards the same problem, as Fred Reed notes:People of IQ 130 and up tend to assume unconsciously–important word: “unconsciously”–that […]

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  55. Anonymous says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Just musing here, but I think the fundamental premise – that human labor (broadly defined) is governed entirely by economics with no morality component – is dubious.

    Consider this formulation: there’s no such thing as “cheap labor” in the long run (apologies to Lord Keynes). People can exploit other people. The cost is still very dear, even if that is not immediately apparent.

    The world has yet to adjust to the job/wage/labor impact of containerization, which is now pushing 60 years old, other than by “enjoying” its most immediate benefit: the ability to exploit the poor in other countries to fuel a “consumer economy” in the west. That, in particular, will not continue forever. Opportunity abounds, really. It always does. It’s our commitment to be fair and just and decent to one another that is – or may be, let’s not be fatalistic – failing.

    It is basic, and quite independent of IQ considerations, that people want to contribute to the society they live in, and people of all sorts of IQ levels can and do, and will continue to do so. The issue is not whether they are or will be contributing, the issue is how they can or will be compensated. That issue cannot be resolved solely by economic considerations, or by political considerations either. It is a moral issue, addressed by individuals in this or that circumstance as it occurs.

    Or not addressed, which is pretty much the situation now.

    All of this has little to do with taxes, the minimum wage, or free trade v. tariffs. It has something more to do with the monetary system, but only because the monetary system affects things deeply on the individual level. The monetary system is both profoundly macro and profoundly micro, and the one we have is pernicious. It teaches and fosters exploitation on the individual level as if that was a positive good. It makes people morally obtuse, and eventually crazy and destructive, no matter what their IQ.

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    • Replies: @WorkingClass
    All of this has little to do with taxes, the minimum wage, or free trade v. tariffs. It has something more to do with the monetary system, but only because the monetary system affects things deeply on the individual level. The monetary system is both profoundly macro and profoundly micro, and the one we have is pernicious. It teaches and fosters exploitation on the individual level as if that was a positive good. It makes people morally obtuse, and eventually crazy and destructive, no matter what their IQ.

    Amen and hallelujah! Honest money is a prerequisite for general prosperity.
  56. […] it strikes us as better to post our thoughts elsewhere, where another discussion provides context and, occasionally, valuable feedback.  The context here […]

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  57. Look at Brazil as it is absolutely our future. A European/Asian elite ruling over a poor mixed race population with blacks at the bottom in favelas. Limited rule of law and corruption throughout the society. The rich living in gated communities and fearful of kidnappings.

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  58. @The Anti-Gnostic
    Excellent, sir.

    I'll tell you what is coming: a Guaranteed Minimum Income, in exchange for which you will get your tubes tied or pipes snipped after two children, or maybe one, or maybe none depending on your biological and social profile. This will happen in the next five years, after intelligence is mapped out on the genome and Tabula Rasa goes to its reluctant, long-delayed death.

    I’ll tell you what is coming: a Guaranteed Minimum Income, in exchange for which you will get your tubes tied or pipes snipped after two children, or maybe one, or maybe none depending on your biological and social profile.

    I can see some variant of this happening over the next 20-30 years. This is the most humane way to deal with the issue.

    The larger point, that humans are self-segregating into separate cognitive classes has been talked about since the 1980′s. I regard it as historically inevitable.

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  59. It is worth considering that automation and robotics does not replace all of the non-educated jobs. Somebody has to maintain and repair the robots. I work in automation. I can tell you there is a demand for trades people who can do things like wire an electrical panel, troubleshoot VFD’s and other electrical systems, and can repair and maintain hydraulic pumps and system (especially this last one!). These are definitely decent paying jobs for people who do not go to university. These jobs will continue into the indefinite future.

    One should also consider that automation has been and is incremental in nature. We’ve been automating jobs since the 1950′s in manufacturing. A hgher minimum wage will drive the service industry into automation as well. This is not a discontinuous jump. Rather it is an incremental process that has been ongoing for the past 5 decades. As such, the transition will be gradual and, therefor, much more easily managed.

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    • Replies: @Alec Leamas
    You're making the mistake of conflating the university credential with intelligence and assuming that jobs that don't require a university education don't require intelligence and the ability to learn complex concepts. Being an electrician may not require a college credential, but it does require an above-average intelligence to master complex concepts and apply them.

    It's just not the case that IQ 85 individuals can routinely master these skills.
    , @Faust
    Several things trouble me here. We have already outsourced relatively low skilled jobs, like the "needle trades" to Bangladesh. Now we have millions of people with nothing to do, assuming they want to do anything. We now import low skill willing workers from Central America. Many work in agriculture, where skill levels are low. They come by the millions. Japan is facing a similar problem because the average farmer is 60 years old. They are not importing labor, they are robotizing agriculture. Eventually that will happen here, then we will have millions more low skill workers with nothing to do.

    Meanwhile moderate skilled workers don't exist. Try hiring new plumbers, or carpenters. They don't exist. The shortfall for plumbers is about 40%, for carpenters, higher. My plumber has been trying to hire a licensed guy for more than a year. Builders tell me that when they advertise for carpenters, applicants are all in their 50's. In Boston there is a school (North Bennet Street School) that teaches carpentry, tuition is $25K a year. Don't know why that surprised me. I suppose, if I had my druthers, I would prefer student loans for $25,000 and a job, than owe $100,000 for a degree in "Woman's Studies" and be flipping burghers.
    , @Jeff Davis
    Thanks for a sane and down-to-earth reality-based reply. Things are indeed changing -- that's a constant across the ages -- and stresses result, yes, but the sky is not falling. We need less hysteria and more calm analysis and thoughtful -- and compassionate -- approaches to addressing the challenges humanity faces.

    Damn fine article Fred. You seem to have carved out a place for yourself in the Pantheon of internet voices. Huzzah!

  60. “People of IQ 130 and up tend to assume unconsciously–…that you can do anything just by doing it. If they wanted to learn Sanskrit, they would get a textbook and go for it… Yes, of course they understand that some people are smarter than others, but they often seem not to grasp how much smarter, or what the consequences are. A large part of the population can’t learn-much of anything. Not won’t. Can’t. …”

    Yes I have seen this. I learned my lesson the hard way in the form of hard working technical want to bes that cannot learn. They can learn to imitate but if you ask them apply what they are saying in a different context. The most painful is a dyslexic Mormon Hispanic who tries his heart out but can’t learn English or scientific terms.

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  61. One thing you wouldn’t do in a nation with a large low IQ underclass is import millions more low IQ types from the third world to absorb all of the low skill agricultural type jobs – probably the only jobs that the underclass can perform competently.

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    • Replies: @Faust
    Japan is facing a similar problem. Their average farmer is 60 years of age and no new people coming into it. They are not importing cheap labor, they have decided to robotize agriculture. We will arrive there, then what do we do with the millions of low skill workers we imported? I suppose we should remember that ancient Mexicans did manage pyramids and waterways, although a little slow on the wheel.
  62. Love your columns Fed. Though I disagree with the thrust of this one, you raise some very important points.
    You’re certainly right, Fred, that the minimum wage at its current level is not a living wage. But capitalists are also correct that raising it will price some people out of the job market.
    I see the minimum wage as a band-aid on a tumor. There are lots of things the US government is doing to increase the cost of living, decrease American competitiveness, and promote out-sourcing. Address those and we might see an actually recovery rather than the fiction being peddled by the Obama administration.

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    • Replies: @WorkingClass
    "I see the minimum wage as a band-aid on a tumor."

    More like a pain pill. Cures nothing but provides some temporary relief.
  63. @Abelard Lindsey
    It is worth considering that automation and robotics does not replace all of the non-educated jobs. Somebody has to maintain and repair the robots. I work in automation. I can tell you there is a demand for trades people who can do things like wire an electrical panel, troubleshoot VFD's and other electrical systems, and can repair and maintain hydraulic pumps and system (especially this last one!). These are definitely decent paying jobs for people who do not go to university. These jobs will continue into the indefinite future.

    One should also consider that automation has been and is incremental in nature. We've been automating jobs since the 1950's in manufacturing. A hgher minimum wage will drive the service industry into automation as well. This is not a discontinuous jump. Rather it is an incremental process that has been ongoing for the past 5 decades. As such, the transition will be gradual and, therefor, much more easily managed.

    You’re making the mistake of conflating the university credential with intelligence and assuming that jobs that don’t require a university education don’t require intelligence and the ability to learn complex concepts. Being an electrician may not require a college credential, but it does require an above-average intelligence to master complex concepts and apply them.

    It’s just not the case that IQ 85 individuals can routinely master these skills.

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  64. @dc.sunsets
    The oft-proposed fix for this "useless worker" problem is a guaranteed minimum income, to be funded by taxing the small number of high-IQ engineers, computer scientists and owners of robotic factories and distributed by the central state.

    Anyone who thinks this would be a stable construct in a place where democracy has any sway is a complete fool. The have-nots would sit around, angry that the have's have more stuff than they do, vote for an ever higher tax burden and ever higher redistribution while doing nothing but producing more stupid offspring to sit on the couch. The one thing stupid people do extremely well is make additional copies of themselves.

    The stuff that makes a man (or woman) capable of being the one whose intellect is amplified in a high tech world is almost entirely inherited. From IQ to creativity to joy in work, these attributes are relatively rare.

    The Brave New World ahead is a giant predicament, and no solution is obvious.

    One certainty: the solution won't be found in politics or ballot boxes.

    They do this already. We already HAVE a “guaranteed income”, called welfare. And the corporations just LOVE it. They make money on the EBT card processing. They make money offering ridiculous car loans. They make money on KinderCare (and similar franchises). They make money off all the programs that give cash to poor people. In fact, that is why they are all pushing for Open Borders, so they can have tens of millions more people to buy diapers, junk food, cheap movies, car insurance and gasoline.

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    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    It's even worse.
    http://www.anonymousconservative.com/blog/resource-waste-happens-in-the-glut/

    Illegal aliens send in federal tax returns demanding refundable child tax credits ON KIDS NOT EVEN LIVING IN THE USA.

    Our elected rulers are demons.
    , @another fred

    They do this already. We already HAVE a “guaranteed income”, called welfare. And the corporations just LOVE it. They make money on the EBT card processing. They make money offering ridiculous car loans. They make money on KinderCare (and similar franchises). They make money off all the programs that give cash to poor people. In fact, that is why they are all pushing for Open Borders, so they can have tens of millions more people to buy diapers, junk food, cheap movies, car insurance and gasoline.
     
    That is why you will often hear Democrat politicians say that "stimulus" should be directed towards the poor as they spend it all and do not save, thereby giving greater "stimulus" to the economy.

    But they can only "make" money off these transactions for as long as the credit fueled bubble continues to inflate. When the credit cycle ends and the "stimulus" can no longer be maintained, the poor will get restless and become a liability rather than an "asset." Things will get interesting then.

  65. Being an electrician may not require a college credential, but it does require an above-average intelligence to master complex concepts and apply them.

    This is certainly true. The electricians I deal with on start-ups are certainly as intelligent as most college students I know of. The maintenance people I deal with vary. Some are really good. Others are complete wankers.

    It’s just not the case that IQ 85 individuals can routinely master these skills.

    You may be right about this. I work in what is definitely a blue-collar manufacturing environment, both where my office is and when I go on-site (I’m an industrial automation/control system engineer). Yet, the majority of the people I encounter are reasonably intelligent. Manufacturing is no longer the domain of IQ 85 people.

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  66. Fred, the Libertarians as usual have asked and answered this question of creating Hi-IQ leisure societies (they call their platform SMILE). Starting with their creation of the internet, IRA’s and vast deregulation bringing prices down enormously, and the spread of world democracy, they’re transforming the world while people who dismiss them re-invent the flat tire. They’re bringing about:

    >Slow but steady legalization of model Libertarian eco-communities in federal democracies
    >Endowment–not tax–based basic income and services for all in societies of optional work
    >Legalization of genetic engineering for longer life spans and a base IQ of 130 (your 1%) option
    >Legality of self-sustaining homesteads so unemployment is a non-issue
    >This allows the bottom 40% of IQ (under 85) who so desire to live as domestics–right now this is very difficult, pushing them onto welfare or failure in jobs for which they’re not suited
    >Re-orientation towards space colonies, robot servants, and a space-faring new industrial revolution

    They don’t want to force anything but see the options legalized and normalized.

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    • Replies: @woodNfish

    >Re-orientation towards space colonies, robot servants, and a space-faring new industrial revolution
     
    Blew your credibility right there.
  67. @Truth

    If every the Chinese or Japanese decide they want Africa, or the Arabian Peninsula and don’t want the pesky natives to interfere,
     
    Japan will more or less be finished in 50 years, do to the nuclear accident.

    Do they know in Hiroshima?

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  68. Rather than asking what use have the elites for the average people, ask what use the average people have for the elites. What does Silicon Valley do for me? Yes, I’m using this computer right now, but before there were computers I read more books or talked with people face to face more often. Both those activities remain available to me and I do both regularly. If the elites decide that the average people should just disappear, we can run our own society without them. The Amish do. There were satisfactory lives before smart phones, and there will be satisfactory lives if all the cell phones stop working too.

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    • Replies: @Stonehands
    "Rather than asking what use have the elites for the average people, ask what use the average people have for the elites. What does Silicon Valley do for me? Yes, I’m using this computer right now, but before there were computers I read more books or talked with people face to face more often. Both those activities remain available to me and I do both regularly. If the elites decide that the average people should just disappear, we can run our own society without them. The Amish do. There were satisfactory lives before smart phones, and there will be satisfactory lives if all the cell phones stop working too."

    Eureka! .......And the Amish don't systematically commit suicide with their STEM degrees...
    learning to boil water with nuclear reactors-then building them on earth quake fault lines- where they can melt down and bore deep into the earth. BUT!...Don't worry- with their glorious suits and ties, and ginormous IQ's - they will keep applying themselves to this intractable disaster, until a solution is achieved!....in 400,000 years....
    , @Michelle
    An ex boyfriend of mine lives in the hills near Yosemite. He uses solar power but is limited by its availability. He uses an "Amish" refrigerator, which is run on propane. " Thank God for the Amish", he always says.
  69. When AI reaches an IQ of 300 all of you fucking geniuses will be in the same boat with us idiots. I find it amusing that you think robots will only replace workers.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Crudely stated...but excellent point.
    , @Neil Templeton
    No matter how "intelligent" robots become, they will never generally threaten humans until they discover sex, or its AI analog. Until then they will be slaves.
    , @Michelle
    I totally agree with you. My I.Q. is 131. Eugenics is our enemy, because the only thing protecting us is people of lower I.Q. . if it were not for them we would be toast! Every day at my place of employment the smart liberals come to work and rant and rave about how everyone they encountered on their way to work is just too stupid to live. Once, I pointed out that they sounded like Hitler and they actually quit bitching for a while. But they started up again soon enough. They can't help it. Though they claim I.Q. tests don't matter, they feel really superior to those who are not genetically blessed. They also act as if intelligence is something they have earned, instead of something they were born with.
  70. @Fidelios Automata
    Love your columns Fed. Though I disagree with the thrust of this one, you raise some very important points.
    You're certainly right, Fred, that the minimum wage at its current level is not a living wage. But capitalists are also correct that raising it will price some people out of the job market.
    I see the minimum wage as a band-aid on a tumor. There are lots of things the US government is doing to increase the cost of living, decrease American competitiveness, and promote out-sourcing. Address those and we might see an actually recovery rather than the fiction being peddled by the Obama administration.

    “I see the minimum wage as a band-aid on a tumor.”

    More like a pain pill. Cures nothing but provides some temporary relief.

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  71. @Anonymous
    Just musing here, but I think the fundamental premise - that human labor (broadly defined) is governed entirely by economics with no morality component - is dubious.

    Consider this formulation: there's no such thing as "cheap labor" in the long run (apologies to Lord Keynes). People can exploit other people. The cost is still very dear, even if that is not immediately apparent.

    The world has yet to adjust to the job/wage/labor impact of containerization, which is now pushing 60 years old, other than by "enjoying" its most immediate benefit: the ability to exploit the poor in other countries to fuel a "consumer economy" in the west. That, in particular, will not continue forever. Opportunity abounds, really. It always does. It's our commitment to be fair and just and decent to one another that is - or may be, let's not be fatalistic - failing.

    It is basic, and quite independent of IQ considerations, that people want to contribute to the society they live in, and people of all sorts of IQ levels can and do, and will continue to do so. The issue is not whether they are or will be contributing, the issue is how they can or will be compensated. That issue cannot be resolved solely by economic considerations, or by political considerations either. It is a moral issue, addressed by individuals in this or that circumstance as it occurs.

    Or not addressed, which is pretty much the situation now.

    All of this has little to do with taxes, the minimum wage, or free trade v. tariffs. It has something more to do with the monetary system, but only because the monetary system affects things deeply on the individual level. The monetary system is both profoundly macro and profoundly micro, and the one we have is pernicious. It teaches and fosters exploitation on the individual level as if that was a positive good. It makes people morally obtuse, and eventually crazy and destructive, no matter what their IQ.

    All of this has little to do with taxes, the minimum wage, or free trade v. tariffs. It has something more to do with the monetary system, but only because the monetary system affects things deeply on the individual level. The monetary system is both profoundly macro and profoundly micro, and the one we have is pernicious. It teaches and fosters exploitation on the individual level as if that was a positive good. It makes people morally obtuse, and eventually crazy and destructive, no matter what their IQ.

    Amen and hallelujah! Honest money is a prerequisite for general prosperity.

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  72. @Realist
    "Not that it matters, but I lived in the DC world that Fred describes, and he couldn’t be more correct. The slow kids in class (and I include myself in that category) were 120 to 125 IQ people. The rest were somewhat to dramatically more intelligent. DC is a collection of the smartest kid in the class."

    You live in a dream world. Totally devoid of reality.

    Fuck you. I lived in that world for almost two decades. Who are you to tell me that I’m wrong, especially since it jibes with exactly what Fred said. I was simply trying to point out that Fred is right, even if it’s hard to believe.

    Have you hung out with people in DC? I don’t mean the secretaries or the a couple of years and done crowd. I mean the experienced reporters, the long-term staffers, the consultants, the lawyers, the scientists, the lobbyists, the think-thinkers, etc.

    These people are flat-out smart, at least in a classroom setting. They may be annoying, they may be isolated, but, by God, they are smart. What’s more, they always been surrounded by other smart people. That’s their world, and it gives them a very skewed idea of reality.

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    • Replies: @Realist
    Calm down. We disagree, I am sure you are one of the dumbest little fucks that has ever walked the earth....you disagree.

    "Who are you to tell me that I’m wrong, especially since it jibes with exactly what Fred said."

    Two idiots do not make a genius.

    That bullshit story of how smart the Washington establishment is has been around for decades. The Kennedy 'whiz kids' story is a classic example. The Kennedy/Johnson administration was populated by people with the IQ of a corn dog.
    , @Stonehands
    "...These people are flat-out smart, at least in a classroom setting. They may be annoying, they may be isolated, but, by God, they are smart. What’s more, they always been surrounded by other smart people. That’s their world, and it gives them a very skewed idea of reality."

    The missing elements in the high IQ outlook are, history, symbolic culture, mind- in other words, the totality of human experience not simply as known but as lived;for every living creature knows something about life that even the most brilliant biologist cannot discover except by living, To heed only the abstractions of the intelligence or the operation of machines, and to ignore feelings, emotions, intuitions, fantasies, ideas, is to substitute bleached skeletons, manipulated by wires, for the living organism. The cult of anti-life secretly begins at this point, with its readiness to extirpate organisms and contract human wants and desires in order to conform to the machine.
    , @RedMoonJournal
    Smart is one thing and wise is another. Smart people can still do remarkably stupid things because they all sit around and agree with each other and never hear ideas and opinions outside their normal frame of reference. For more on this phenomenon check out the book "Groupthink" by Irving L. Janis, 1983 Houghton-Mifflin.
  73. @WorkingClass
    When AI reaches an IQ of 300 all of you fucking geniuses will be in the same boat with us idiots. I find it amusing that you think robots will only replace workers.

    Crudely stated…but excellent point.

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  74. Fred,
    Capitalists/capitalism is the problem? I’m sorry, but I don’t think so. Every problem, injustice, lack of education, etc., etc., etc., can and is directly linked to the government and its policies.

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    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
    And pray tell Orlin, just who is it that ultimately calls the shots for setting government policies?
  75. @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Fuck you. I lived in that world for almost two decades. Who are you to tell me that I'm wrong, especially since it jibes with exactly what Fred said. I was simply trying to point out that Fred is right, even if it's hard to believe.

    Have you hung out with people in DC? I don't mean the secretaries or the a couple of years and done crowd. I mean the experienced reporters, the long-term staffers, the consultants, the lawyers, the scientists, the lobbyists, the think-thinkers, etc.

    These people are flat-out smart, at least in a classroom setting. They may be annoying, they may be isolated, but, by God, they are smart. What's more, they always been surrounded by other smart people. That's their world, and it gives them a very skewed idea of reality.

    Calm down. We disagree, I am sure you are one of the dumbest little fucks that has ever walked the earth….you disagree.

    “Who are you to tell me that I’m wrong, especially since it jibes with exactly what Fred said.”

    Two idiots do not make a genius.

    That bullshit story of how smart the Washington establishment is has been around for decades. The Kennedy ‘whiz kids’ story is a classic example. The Kennedy/Johnson administration was populated by people with the IQ of a corn dog.

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  76. @Abelard Lindsey
    It is worth considering that automation and robotics does not replace all of the non-educated jobs. Somebody has to maintain and repair the robots. I work in automation. I can tell you there is a demand for trades people who can do things like wire an electrical panel, troubleshoot VFD's and other electrical systems, and can repair and maintain hydraulic pumps and system (especially this last one!). These are definitely decent paying jobs for people who do not go to university. These jobs will continue into the indefinite future.

    One should also consider that automation has been and is incremental in nature. We've been automating jobs since the 1950's in manufacturing. A hgher minimum wage will drive the service industry into automation as well. This is not a discontinuous jump. Rather it is an incremental process that has been ongoing for the past 5 decades. As such, the transition will be gradual and, therefor, much more easily managed.

    Several things trouble me here. We have already outsourced relatively low skilled jobs, like the “needle trades” to Bangladesh. Now we have millions of people with nothing to do, assuming they want to do anything. We now import low skill willing workers from Central America. Many work in agriculture, where skill levels are low. They come by the millions. Japan is facing a similar problem because the average farmer is 60 years old. They are not importing labor, they are robotizing agriculture. Eventually that will happen here, then we will have millions more low skill workers with nothing to do.

    Meanwhile moderate skilled workers don’t exist. Try hiring new plumbers, or carpenters. They don’t exist. The shortfall for plumbers is about 40%, for carpenters, higher. My plumber has been trying to hire a licensed guy for more than a year. Builders tell me that when they advertise for carpenters, applicants are all in their 50′s. In Boston there is a school (North Bennet Street School) that teaches carpentry, tuition is $25K a year. Don’t know why that surprised me. I suppose, if I had my druthers, I would prefer student loans for $25,000 and a job, than owe $100,000 for a degree in “Woman’s Studies” and be flipping burghers.

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  77. @Alec Leamas
    One thing you wouldn't do in a nation with a large low IQ underclass is import millions more low IQ types from the third world to absorb all of the low skill agricultural type jobs - probably the only jobs that the underclass can perform competently.

    Japan is facing a similar problem. Their average farmer is 60 years of age and no new people coming into it. They are not importing cheap labor, they have decided to robotize agriculture. We will arrive there, then what do we do with the millions of low skill workers we imported? I suppose we should remember that ancient Mexicans did manage pyramids and waterways, although a little slow on the wheel.

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  78. […] Holm warns against this exact thing. Forgive the lengthy excerpts below… but then, you really should read the whole thing […]

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  79. @Realist
    Calm down. We disagree, I am sure you are one of the dumbest little fucks that has ever walked the earth....you disagree.

    "Who are you to tell me that I’m wrong, especially since it jibes with exactly what Fred said."

    Two idiots do not make a genius.

    That bullshit story of how smart the Washington establishment is has been around for decades. The Kennedy 'whiz kids' story is a classic example. The Kennedy/Johnson administration was populated by people with the IQ of a corn dog.

    Ah. Now I know your type. My mistake.

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  80. @dc.sunsets
    Human males, stripped of the rational mind's restraint, are nothing but war machines. This is revealed by adding alcohol to most men; violence is not an uncommon result.

    Civilization periodically contains this natural state, but the peace never lasts forever. Humans are inherently animals of a particular kind. We cannot escape our nature. (This is not to say women are, somehow, superior. On the contrary, they too have an impulsive natural behavior set, one most people try to ignore but unlike male nature, women aren't socialized out of it by the time they reach adulthood.)

    When the cycle of war returns there is an historically unprecedented amount of human blood now available to spill. What drives the violence won't be remotely rational, so attempting to thwart the cycle with appeals to reason will fail and fail utterly.

    Yes, yes, yes! You have the right of it, Sir. War is fun for, many, if not, most males.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Perhaps...but horrendous for the women who birthed us and nursed us and raised us as the flowers of their hopes - only to be turned into hamburger (or worse) at the hands of some other man whose mother's hopes are dashed as her son sinks from being the human she hoped to raise into a psychotic and suicidal mess.

    In the name of our mothers - the madness of modern war should be proscribed and denounced as much as possible.
  81. Fred Reed has noticed its a helluva world and life is not fair. Being poor sucks. Being ugly sucks. Being both really sucks. As a society we do what we can. Feed people who cannot feed themselves e.g but only up to the point where we have enough to go around. Where scarcity exists we ration the demand via price.

    The problem arises when, in the name of helping the poor, you degrade the ability of the society to produce at its potential. Paying people less than the value of their work has a cost. We might all agree no human being ‘needs’ more than a few million dollars to be able to afford a very comfortable life but if 25,000 people will pay $50 to see some rock star sing a few songs for an hour or so how do you limit his earning capacity and allow those with less talent to share his good fortune? Tax him too much and he might decide its not worth his time to perform or write a new song. OTOH, if you pay people more than the value of their work what’s to stop people with skills from deciding, all things considered, they would rather have an easy job bagging groceries for $15 per hour than repair power lines in the cold for $30 per hour?

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    • Replies: @blankmisgivings
    J S Bach found it worth his while to 'write new songs' without the incentive of the mass market . It's important to avoid presentism about what motivates or could motivate people to innovate.
  82. The minimum wage agitation is a result of de-industrialisation – most of the industrial jobs in provincial areas have gone, and most of the low-level service jobs are in the big cities, where the cost of living is very high. Hence, service workers in the big cities want higher wages to pay the landlord. In the past, jobs were spread around a lot more, and people could find low-skilled jobs without paying high rents. One way to help ease this problem is to move more white collar and distribution jobs to small cities where rents are lower. Government subsidies for training workers also need to more specifically targerted, with more subsidies for workers in short supply (such as mechanics and electricians) and less subsidies for workers in over-supply (such as lawyers, PE teachers and web designers).

    The neoliberal model, where the government gives everyone a loan to go to college, and everyone somehow ends up being a highly paid knowledge worker just isn’t working. Too many people have a rose-tinted belief that they can do a communications major and end up with a high-paying white collar job in London or New York.

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  83. What Fred and the other promoters of minimum wage forget is that it is not the job of an employer to take care of people. The employer’s job is to make a profit. That’s it. Convince someone to buy his product at a profit.

    If a person is worth 9 bucks an hour then 15 bucks puts that person out of work.

    You want to take care of the low intelligent among us pass a tax and pay for it. Leave employers out of social welfare programs.

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    • Replies: @WorkingClass
    Government enforced minimums aside, if your business depends on starvation wages you should put it out of it's misery.
  84. @Crawfurdmuir
    Fred wrote: "The question arises: What does the country do with the large and growing number of people whose labor is worth nothing?"

    The real question is, what does the country do with the large and growing number of people whose labor is worth less than the minimum wage? Their labor may be worth something - just not enough. Microeconomics 101 tells us that the marginal product of labor is the wage of labor. No business can operate at a loss for more than a finite period, and so no employer will hire laborers whose potential work product is worth less than the statutory minimum wage.

    If the condition of the poor could really be improved by raising the statutory minimum wage, then all that is necessary to relieve the poverty of (say) Bangladesh or Eritrea would be for those places to pass such legislation. The absurdity of the premise is obvious. Both the wealth of individuals and that of nations necessarily depends upon their productivity.

    Rich countries such as the United States, Britain, or Germany can care for the unproductive through their social welfare systems as long as their numbers are not too large. Doing so will become increasingly difficult as larger and larger numbers of ignorant, illiterate, low-IQ immigrants flood into the developed world. As the populations become less productive, per-capita wealth must eventually fall. Most of Western Europe appears to me already to be depleting its capital in order to support the welfare state. The United States will soon follow. What happens to a country when in a fit of altruism and compassion, it allows the dependent to eat next year's seed corn?

    “No business can operate at a loss for more than a finite period . . .”

    False dichotomy. It isn’t a question of increasing profits ueber alles or loss. It’s about compromise that allows profit AND living wages for more Americans.

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  85. @The Grate Deign
    There are two kinds of markets, free and rigged.

    I hadn't figured Fred for the rigged ones, but life's full of surprises.

    The markets have been rigged for at least a century now.

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    • Replies: @The Grate Deign
    "The markets have been rigged for at least a century now."

    Indeed they have. The biggest "rigging" occurs while your government ignores the illegal aliens flooding across the border. They drive wages down, way down, for unskilled workers.

    But for them, no minimum wage would be needed. Mickey Dee's would compensate for the labor shortage by paying a living wage for people to work there, and the workers would be learning working skills they didn't get while the welfare state was rotting their souls with handouts.

    But don't tell Fred about this. He lives in a country whose single biggest export is unwanted poor people, mostly Aztecs. And we wouldn't want him to realize he's advocating for a bad law to compensate for the lawlessness of our government and his adopted one.
  86. I know from experience that Bangladeshi sewer cleaners can be retrained as “IT Professionals”, so I am betting that most auto factory workers can do it as well.

    Please do the needful to correct your texts.

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    • Replies: @another fred
    A lot of that depends on how underutilized the population is. I do not doubt that Bangladesh had and has millions of people whose potential is not being realized - plenty of low-hanging fruit there. The record of retraining displaced US textile workers and their progeny to be IT professionals is not good. I do not doubt that there are social factors. Most geneticists argue that there are biological ones also. In the future we will may know that for certain.
  87. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    I apologize to the participants of the discussion: I had attention span to read the main article only, not the comments. So it is quite probable that somebody commented about it.
    Mr. Reed wrote very good and very compassionate article, compassionate toward the people at the lower end of IQ distribution. Kudos to him, without any sarcasm. Thank you, Mr. Reed.
    *
    However, nothing is said about overpopulation of World as a whole, and of US in particular, by people with low IQ and by people with low impulse control, to say it politely.
    Derbyshire recently wrote “The Return of Eugenics—or Something”,

    http://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/the-return-of-eugenics-or-something/

    Sure, he is not the only one to be concerned about that kind of “overpopulation”.
    Forget about “editing of genes” — difficult and expensive procedure. Let us create the incentives for volunteer diminishing that kind of “overpopulation”.
    With warmest respect of Mr. Reed,
    your F.r.

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  88. “It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” – Murray Rothbard

    Read More
  89. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    When I was in high school the minimum wage was $1.25 p/hr. Every time it’s been raised since then the same arguments have been made. We haven’t gone under yet and won’t with this new one either.

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  90. Of course the real issue here is not the wage rate per se, but the value of the dollar. The real crime here is the grinding inflation year after year perpetuated by the Federal Reserve. Even at the “modestly targeted” 3% per year, start doing the math year after year, decade after decade. Yet we ignore it, and get angry at the people who actually hire other people, all the while petitioning the very institution that is screwing them in the first place.

    And why stop at $15? Why not just solve all problems and pay everyone $50? Please explain why that wouldn’t work.

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  91. @dc.sunsets
    Power corrupts (people's reason, not just morals.)
    Success sows the seeds of failure via arrogance.

    Very bright people lie to themselves and rationalize their emotion- and biases-driven impulses just like everyone else. They just have the mental horsepower to obtain high positions where we can watch them do so more easily.

    The problem with DC is that it's populated by people who have utterly no respect whatsoever for the vast warehouse of knowledge they lack, nor for the large quantity of what they think they know that just ain't so.

    But as Charles Hugh Smith put it, "Certainty sells better than hedged hesitancy."

    Fools (even high IQ fools) are sure when the wise are cautious.

    Here is what I was trying to say (the short story):

    There is a difference between being clever and being intelligent. Clever people tend to focus on means … usually for personal aggrandizement. Sociopaths, for example, tend to be very clever people. Intelligent people, on the other hand, have the ability to select the right (meaning moral) ends AND the right means to those ends.

    Washington is hopelessly full of dangerously clever people. We can only hope, as an act of faith, that someday the culture of power matures to the point it starts to place an equal emphasis on (moral) ends.

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  92. Survival of the fittest” is capitalism in its perfection.

    After all, humans are still part of nature. In biological world, you fit, you live. You don’t, no descendants from you.

    Just other day, I over paid plumber at scam artist price at about ten thousand dollars for five thousand dollars job. I knew they over charged me. But I paid them willingly without bargaining hard or challenge.

    Why? Some empathy for sure. I did my part to lift the boat at my own way. This will create upward market pressure for their job. Selfishly, I won their hearts and they did a lot of more others work without charge. From now on, I became their most favored client. I have quite bit of similar business relationship with others. Money buys convenience.

    Following my family way, we deliberately overpay to win best loyalty in business relationship. You can say overpayment is like bribery or tips for better service.

    At end, you get what you pay for.

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  93. I have to disagree about Journalism types. On campus they were reliably the dumbest, probably the lowest IQ and the least curious of the student body. I don’t have experience with an Ivy league school but that is just my perception as an engineering student.

    The J school people were just aware enough to want to be the next Woodward and Bernstein or Dan Rather or Cronkite but theywere too dumb to understand nuance and multiple viewpoints on every story.

    Read More
    • Replies: @another fred

    The J school people were just aware enough to want to be the next Woodward and Bernstein or Dan Rather or Cronkite but they were too dumb to understand nuance and multiple viewpoints on every story.
     
    I'm an Engineer.

    In my experience working with them on TV "documentaries" (as a paid consultant) and on news items they are mostly interested in writing something that has appeal to a wide audience. Their success depends on getting people to read/watch. Reality is only marginally important.
    , @Anon
    I know there are some good people in the field, but colleges of education need to take the bottom rung in their pursuit of methods over substance.
  94. @The Anti-Gnostic
    Excellent, sir.

    I'll tell you what is coming: a Guaranteed Minimum Income, in exchange for which you will get your tubes tied or pipes snipped after two children, or maybe one, or maybe none depending on your biological and social profile. This will happen in the next five years, after intelligence is mapped out on the genome and Tabula Rasa goes to its reluctant, long-delayed death.

    I’ve been saying this for years. Guaranteed Income is a certainty, because a vast mass of technologically unemployed superfluous humans is not an acceptable risk to elites. Think you’re wrong about the eugenics aspect though. Not politically doable in my opinion, not at this stage anyway.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stan d Mute

    Think you’re wrong about the eugenics aspect though. Not politically doable in my opinion, not at this stage anyway.
     
    But we are *already* practicing eugenics. Unfortunately, it's concomitant with dysgenics. Just as Murray described in Coming Apart, our cognitive elites are today doing a better job than at any other point in history of self-segregating and mating. The smartest kids, male and female, get into the best schools, jobs, and clubs where they meet and ultimately mate. This is entirely voluntary of course, but no less eugenic for its lack of State control. Meanwhile, the State is pursuing a dysgenic program where the stupid are paid just to reproduce and increase their ranks. Every year the smarties and the stupid move further apart. Entirely funded by government dollars, Shitavious is paroled and hooks up with Twa'Lette. Seven months later, Shitavious is back in the can for armed robbery and parole violation while Twa'Lette drops two more into neo-natal ICU and collects an extra two grand a month from the State. Twa'Lette's brood is now at eleven, her baby-daddy count stands at seven (five in prison, two buried), all of which is taxpayer supported. At the same time, Craig and Amanda who have been exclusive since high school can finally afford that house in a great school district and are trying hard to fill their designer nursery. At 37, neither is quite as fertile as they once were so they drop $100,000 on fertility treatments before eventually producing a healthy full term baby daughter. But since Craig's firm cut back on partner bonuses to fund a merger and Amanda is taking a year off to breast feed and bond with daughter Paige, they're unable to consider having a second baby and Craig gets a vasectomy to ensure there aren't any surprises.

    Eugenics and dysgenics. The overall effect is dysgenic, but a small cognitive elite grows smaller and more elite while the overall population grows larger and dumber. It's hard to imagine this trend reversing isn't it? The stupid are already too numerous for government to take any rational action like mandating birth control for welfare recipients. And the smarties aren't going to breed with the stupid. Without curbs on reproduction of the stupid and/or inducements for the smarties to breed more, we will have a future that looks a lot like Blomkamp's Elysium.
  95. @The Anti-Gnostic
    Excellent, sir.

    I'll tell you what is coming: a Guaranteed Minimum Income, in exchange for which you will get your tubes tied or pipes snipped after two children, or maybe one, or maybe none depending on your biological and social profile. This will happen in the next five years, after intelligence is mapped out on the genome and Tabula Rasa goes to its reluctant, long-delayed death.

    I’ll tell you what is coming: a Guaranteed Minimum Income, in exchange for which you will get your tubes tied or pipes snipped after two children, or maybe one, or maybe none depending on your biological and social profile.

    Really? The government hasn’t been about to do that for inter-generational Welfare cheats. What makes you think it will be able to do it in exchange for a GMI, also known as “Welfare”? No, it simply isn’t going to happen. Even China has given up the one-child prohibition.

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  96. @RobRich
    Fred, the Libertarians as usual have asked and answered this question of creating Hi-IQ leisure societies (they call their platform SMILE). Starting with their creation of the internet, IRA's and vast deregulation bringing prices down enormously, and the spread of world democracy, they're transforming the world while people who dismiss them re-invent the flat tire. They're bringing about:

    >Slow but steady legalization of model Libertarian eco-communities in federal democracies
    >Endowment--not tax--based basic income and services for all in societies of optional work
    >Legalization of genetic engineering for longer life spans and a base IQ of 130 (your 1%) option
    >Legality of self-sustaining homesteads so unemployment is a non-issue
    >This allows the bottom 40% of IQ (under 85) who so desire to live as domestics--right now this is very difficult, pushing them onto welfare or failure in jobs for which they're not suited
    >Re-orientation towards space colonies, robot servants, and a space-faring new industrial revolution

    They don't want to force anything but see the options legalized and normalized.

    >Re-orientation towards space colonies, robot servants, and a space-faring new industrial revolution

    Blew your credibility right there.

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  97. @Chris Mallory
    The markets have been rigged for at least a century now.

    “The markets have been rigged for at least a century now.”

    Indeed they have. The biggest “rigging” occurs while your government ignores the illegal aliens flooding across the border. They drive wages down, way down, for unskilled workers.

    But for them, no minimum wage would be needed. Mickey Dee’s would compensate for the labor shortage by paying a living wage for people to work there, and the workers would be learning working skills they didn’t get while the welfare state was rotting their souls with handouts.

    But don’t tell Fred about this. He lives in a country whose single biggest export is unwanted poor people, mostly Aztecs. And we wouldn’t want him to realize he’s advocating for a bad law to compensate for the lawlessness of our government and his adopted one.

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  98. Our predicament is not an example of “capitalism” but of government run amok. Wages have been lowered by governmental immigration policy. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that allowing an unlimited number of low (or no) skill aliens to compete against your fellow citizens for a limited pool of jobs will cause real wage decline. Similarly, government competes with private sector employers for low skill workers by paying them to stay home and breed low IQ people by the millions. On top of this, government takes a significant percentage of workers’ wages via sales tax, fuel tax, car tax (registration & insurance & road tolls), corporate income tax, litigation tax, and myriad compliance taxes. Meanwhile government is constantly devaluing workers’ wages by printing ever more fiat currency. In such a system, I cannot see how “capitalism” can even be identified let alone blamed for the dysfunction.

    Where I do agree however is on the subject of intelligence. Intelligent people truly have no conception whatever of what it means to *be* stupid. I was raised in an affluent suburb of Detroit where my peers’ parents were universally from the professional or entrepreneurial classes. A stone’s throw from the violent chaotic dysfunction that is Detroit, everyone knew what stupid looked like on a large scale or in the abstract, but nobody actually knew anyone who was stupid. I have a vivid memory of my shock and disbelief at meeting a graduate of my high school who was functionally illiterate. We knew this kid wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed (burnout type), but to discover he literally could not read and comprehend even Dr Seuss was like learning one day that your real mom died giving birth to you and the woman who raised you was in reality Bruce Jenner. Unimaginable!

    This failure to comprehend low IQ and its results on macro scale is most apparent in how goodwhites think about negroes. All the negroes they’ve met personally are in the 99%+ range with IQ of say 100 or higher. All the negroes they’ve seen in media are brilliant compared even to whites, Asians, and Jews. Spending a week inside Detroit Public Schools would cause them cataclysmic cognitive dissonance, but probably fall short of disabusing them of their fantasy worldview. Spending a year amid the general DPS population, on the other hand, would probably cause them to subscribe to American Renaissance (assuming of course that they survived their year of full immersion in negro society). It’s for this reason alone that I often think whites, at least those cloistered in whitopias, should be forced to spend a year living exclusively amid negroes before gaining the right to vote.

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  99. @workforlivn
    What Fred and the other promoters of minimum wage forget is that it is not the job of an employer to take care of people. The employer's job is to make a profit. That's it. Convince someone to buy his product at a profit.

    If a person is worth 9 bucks an hour then 15 bucks puts that person out of work.

    You want to take care of the low intelligent among us pass a tax and pay for it. Leave employers out of social welfare programs.

    Government enforced minimums aside, if your business depends on starvation wages you should put it out of it’s misery.

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    • Replies: @workforlivn
    "Government enforced minimums aside, if your business depends on starvation wages you should put it out of it’s misery."

    Assertion based on nothing. But for argument's sake lets say it is put out of its misery. What good does that do the worker? Are you asserting that laying them off frees them up for a better job? Please enlighten us.
  100. @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Good God, Fred, that was magnificent.

    Not that it matters, but I lived in the DC world that Fred describes, and he couldn't be more correct. The slow kids in class (and I include myself in that category) were 120 to 125 IQ people. The rest were somewhat to dramatically more intelligent. DC is a collection of the smartest kid in the class. It's a truly bizarre place.

    What you have to understand is that these people have no concept of not being intellectually capable of doing something. As Fred discusses, it may take some more time than others, but the idea that they can't learn something outside of quantum physics simply never crosses their minds because, in fact, they can learn almost anything.

    Another thing you need to understand about these people is that everyday people and their problems are theoretical. They've never known the kid of a plumber or a truck driver. (I grew up with those kids even if I knew I wasn't really one of them.) That's not to say that DC people don't have hobbies that involve on the ground grunt work (woodworking, brewing beer, etc.). So, sure, they can imagine being a fine woodworker or a craft brewer, but they can't conceive of working at a lumber yard or moving crates around a Budweiser brewery. Real people are real to DC people.

    It's why I had to leave.

    Look, I was never some "Man of the People" type. But I never hated or discarded the people that I grew up with. DC types truly do either hate those people or simply don't care.

    As a relatively close relative of a retired US Congressman-turned-Senator, I can vouch for this. FY;IGM Syndrome is very real among the DC elite.

    Imagine asking your aunt to move at your mother’s funeral so your co-worker can sit in the front row.

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  101. @Crawfurdmuir
    Fred wrote: "The question arises: What does the country do with the large and growing number of people whose labor is worth nothing?"

    The real question is, what does the country do with the large and growing number of people whose labor is worth less than the minimum wage? Their labor may be worth something - just not enough. Microeconomics 101 tells us that the marginal product of labor is the wage of labor. No business can operate at a loss for more than a finite period, and so no employer will hire laborers whose potential work product is worth less than the statutory minimum wage.

    If the condition of the poor could really be improved by raising the statutory minimum wage, then all that is necessary to relieve the poverty of (say) Bangladesh or Eritrea would be for those places to pass such legislation. The absurdity of the premise is obvious. Both the wealth of individuals and that of nations necessarily depends upon their productivity.

    Rich countries such as the United States, Britain, or Germany can care for the unproductive through their social welfare systems as long as their numbers are not too large. Doing so will become increasingly difficult as larger and larger numbers of ignorant, illiterate, low-IQ immigrants flood into the developed world. As the populations become less productive, per-capita wealth must eventually fall. Most of Western Europe appears to me already to be depleting its capital in order to support the welfare state. The United States will soon follow. What happens to a country when in a fit of altruism and compassion, it allows the dependent to eat next year's seed corn?

    Well said.

    If the discipline of economics has shown anything, it is that supply and demand are brought into balance by adjustments in price. Therefore, fixing the price of labor or anything else, is a sure way to produce a surplus or a shortage.

    But who among those who expect to benefit from a legally imposed high minimum wage knows anything of economics? And who among the political class advocating a high minimum wage give a damn about the saps who will be put out of work if their proposal is implemented? It’s moral uplift and votes that they’re after, not the general welfare.

    The problem of those whose labor is not worth a living wage will always be with us. Over the course of history it has been solved in various ways. Most commonly, of course, through privation and misery, which had the beneficial side effect of reducing the success of the least successful in raising more of their own kind.

    Today, in the West, we are squeamish about solving the problem of poverty through starvation, but since the government takes half our income, we are mostly reluctant to engage in personal philanthropy on a scale to have a significant impact on poverty. Thus we demand that the government solve the problem, which it does through a combination of welfare and minimum wage laws, the latter increasing the demand for the former.

    But there is another way the problem can be approached by governments of the rich countries. That is through a national economic policy that protects home industries with tariffs and protects the home labor market through strict immigration control.

    The virtue of the nationalist approach is that (a) by retaining basic manufacturing industries such as shoes, textiles, car parts, and electronics assembly, a home market is created for the higher order industries such as machine tools and robotics that are required in support of lower tech manufacturing; and (b) by excluding floods of Third World immigrants you have some hope of retaining your national culture, language and religion, and even of ensuring the existence of your own racial posterity.

    Liberals, of course, hate everything listed under (b) and hence endlessly muddy the water by urging an increase in the minimum wage, helicopter money or anything but a program to ensure every able-bodied person the dignity of a job.

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  102. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    You wrote:

    but since the government takes half our income

    I suspect that if the government were taking less than that half our income,
    the employers, including the same government,
    would diminish the income in the first place,
    for us just to survive.

    I am comparing with what is going on in my beloved Florida.
    Lottery is the most regressive tax: mostly low-IQ and hence, low income people
    are buying those tickets.
    Introduction of Florida Lottery by Fl. Legislature was presented
    as a way to produce extra funds for public education.
    However, as soon as money started to come from Lottery,
    original funds for public education were gradually redirected to other tasks.

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    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
    Three more regressive and morally bankrupt taxes: Alcohol, tobacco, and carbon.
  103. edNels [AKA "geoshmoe"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Now that’s a good short essay that says it all, about the disaster that is coming with this stupid economy.

    What do you do with the surplus under utilized… ”human resources”? Well just letting the problem ”fester” won’t be much good. Even as bad as under employment is now, it will be much worse when automation is in force.

    We asked that question 50 years ago when we could see the coming development of automation, and asked the question: Who will there be to BUY the products? Not like Henry Fords concept… ”that if the laborers making the modal T make a good wage, they will buy one!”

    I’m really glad Fred broached the subject of a lack of empathy as a characteristic common to those self satisfied denizens that promote the trends we see from their discusting… Ivory Towers, and their isolated social bubbles. So, couldn’t these high performing types not be someway typed as imbued with a gene, that when discovered in less competent, less sophisticated, who cross some line into criminal territory are called Sociopathic. (Basically Narcissistic, greedy, bastards,) with amazing survival skills unfettered by any guilt dead weight.

    What is the plan Stan? for the millions of unneeded ”human Resources”? They used to call them ”Useless Feeders” according to the character Geo Green. Who tells of his first hand conversations with the folks who do have a plan, and that plan doesn’t have a place for anybody who isn’t… on the Guest list, who will be invited to spend a nuclear winter in special underground cities…

    Well will it be like Geo says, or will it be a soft kill scenario, or Biologicals etc.?

    There will have to be a benevolent dictatorship to stop this trendline, which heads to
    conditions that don’t add up. There is all talk about Austerity, when the future needs predict massive social safety net improvement.

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  104. @anonymous-antiskynetist
    I've been saying this for years. Guaranteed Income is a certainty, because a vast mass of technologically unemployed superfluous humans is not an acceptable risk to elites. Think you're wrong about the eugenics aspect though. Not politically doable in my opinion, not at this stage anyway.

    Think you’re wrong about the eugenics aspect though. Not politically doable in my opinion, not at this stage anyway.

    But we are *already* practicing eugenics. Unfortunately, it’s concomitant with dysgenics. Just as Murray described in Coming Apart, our cognitive elites are today doing a better job than at any other point in history of self-segregating and mating. The smartest kids, male and female, get into the best schools, jobs, and clubs where they meet and ultimately mate. This is entirely voluntary of course, but no less eugenic for its lack of State control. Meanwhile, the State is pursuing a dysgenic program where the stupid are paid just to reproduce and increase their ranks. Every year the smarties and the stupid move further apart. Entirely funded by government dollars, Shitavious is paroled and hooks up with Twa’Lette. Seven months later, Shitavious is back in the can for armed robbery and parole violation while Twa’Lette drops two more into neo-natal ICU and collects an extra two grand a month from the State. Twa’Lette’s brood is now at eleven, her baby-daddy count stands at seven (five in prison, two buried), all of which is taxpayer supported. At the same time, Craig and Amanda who have been exclusive since high school can finally afford that house in a great school district and are trying hard to fill their designer nursery. At 37, neither is quite as fertile as they once were so they drop $100,000 on fertility treatments before eventually producing a healthy full term baby daughter. But since Craig’s firm cut back on partner bonuses to fund a merger and Amanda is taking a year off to breast feed and bond with daughter Paige, they’re unable to consider having a second baby and Craig gets a vasectomy to ensure there aren’t any surprises.

    Eugenics and dysgenics. The overall effect is dysgenic, but a small cognitive elite grows smaller and more elite while the overall population grows larger and dumber. It’s hard to imagine this trend reversing isn’t it? The stupid are already too numerous for government to take any rational action like mandating birth control for welfare recipients. And the smarties aren’t going to breed with the stupid. Without curbs on reproduction of the stupid and/or inducements for the smarties to breed more, we will have a future that looks a lot like Blomkamp’s Elysium.

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Must disagree with one item: the smartest people are self-segregating alright, but part of our problem is that too many of them DON'T "mate" after they meet.

    Generally more-intelligent people have a demonstrably lower total fertility rate than generally less-intelligent people in the USA.

    You give a great example of such a couple, but I must disagree with some of the factual assumptions there. The couple in your hypothetical was unjustifiably foolish in deciding to postpone having a second child due to financial problems. Especially when they should have grown up and realized that they don't need a fancy designer nursery.

    For that hypothetical couple -- and millions of real couples like them -- I'd ask a bunch of very judgmental questions. Starting with this: "You say you couldn't 'afford' to have more children. How much do you spend each month on tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, Starbucks, cable/satellite television, travel, and dining out?" An honest answer often, though not always, shows that their alleged inability to afford more children stems largely from their own warped priorities, selfishness, and unwillingness to truly sacrifice for one's posterity.
    , @Anonymous
    "Idioacracy: The only feature film to turn into a documentary."

    --Unknown
  105. There is NO reason that a local low tech service society cannot happen. For most of human time that is how people lived.

    Clearly it is just a matter of time before most consumer goods are made by robots. 3-d printing will allow most things to be made locally. The programs required to print these goods can come from the internet cloud. Mega large industrial companies will be less needed. Local people can do almost everything. When can have a local society that builds, delivers, and services those goods. As time progresses hard consumer goods will become less and less of our lives. Our lives will revolve around intellectual pleasure, more then possessions of necessity.

    The cloud is very hi tech – but using it is not. There is no reason that an intellectual pleasure society cannot exist. Creating art in all its forms is an inexhaustible pursuit. People spend their whole lives happily studying one thing or another. There is no reason that a culture of people exchanging intellectual pursuits cannot exist.

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    • Replies: @rod1963
    Fantasy thinking by Star Trek watchers.

    Look what happened to the English working class when Thatcher closed the factories and mills and put them on the dole for the rest of their lives. They fell apart. Drug and alcohol abuse skyrocketed, etc.

    You can't strip the working class of their self-worth and dignity and expect them to keep it together, they won't. Even most higher IQ types don't fare well either in such a environment.

    For them, even a make work program is better than sitting on their duffs all day stewing in their juices. I don't care making baskets and books by hand, you make people work for their money and they'll respect it and themselves. Not all but most will.

    Another thing to consider.

    In the West, people are inundated from the time they can walk with a endless stream of advertising in multiple forms. All telling the people their self-worth is in consumption and having the most stuff. People now define themselves by the stuff they can buy. It's not mentally healthy or even right but that's how modern society is structured - around consumption.

    Think how that plays with people on the dole who watch TV all day. You've just created a class of people who are angry and envious of others who have more than they do.

    So throwing more tech at the people isn't going to make things better.
  106. The quality of these articles in recent months seems to me to be on the decline.

    And this obsession with IQ!

    As with so many issues, focus on the symptoms, rather than the actual cause is the stock-in-trade of petty pundits. What business is doing is only the symptom. The larger disease is just below the surface if one cares to think about it.

    Either Fred is distracted with other irons, or senility is calcifying his carping skills.

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  107. Fred’s ideas allow a lot of criticism.
    1. Stupid people have survived for millenia without the help of others (albeit without cable TV, as I must admit). The first and most promising idea would be to re-learn how people survived without the help of others.
    2. Stupid people are needed as consumers. Big business doesn’t really wish to reduce the number of consumers (or the income used for the products big business produces).
    3. The real problem is that stupid people within the U.S. have to compete with people all over the world (not only as workers, but as consumers as well). This problem will stay with us till mass incomes all over the world have become equal, from when on mass incomes will slowly rise again.)

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    • Replies: @Chris Mallory

    1. Stupid people have survived for millenia without the help of others (albeit without cable TV, as I must admit). The first and most promising idea would be to re-learn how people survived without the help of others.
     
    Yes, but for most of those millenia we didn't have government rules, regulations, taxes, and zoning laws that drive the cost of living through the roof.

    Try to find some land to farm and live independently on today. You will be taxed and zoned into the poor house.

    Try buying a car without air bags, back up cameras, and other government mandated options.
  108. None of this would even be a issue of discussion except for two things:

    1) Corporations demanding that the government keep our borders open so as to have a unlimited supply of disposable low wage worker. Hence the refusal of every president since Reagan to properly secure our borders and enforce immigration rules.

    2) Corporations moving industry over-seas which has resulted in the decimation of white blue collars and middle-class workers.

    Had we not allowed the hustlers and fast buck artists at the Chambers of Commerce and Wall Street to dictate economic policy to Congress via their K Street bribery machine, we be okay.

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    I agree with what you said, more than I would have expected earlier in my life.

    But let's not leave out the other MAJOR driver of large-scale immigration of uneducated, lower-skilled, and often relatively less intelligent immigrants: the Left's plain BIGOTED HATRED AGAINST WHITES and their concomitant desire to swamp white Americans and marginalize us and push aside our traditional common language, culture, mores, and way of life.
  109. @WorkingClass
    Government enforced minimums aside, if your business depends on starvation wages you should put it out of it's misery.

    “Government enforced minimums aside, if your business depends on starvation wages you should put it out of it’s misery.”

    Assertion based on nothing. But for argument’s sake lets say it is put out of its misery. What good does that do the worker? Are you asserting that laying them off frees them up for a better job? Please enlighten us.

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    • Replies: @WorkingClass
    It's a moral judgement. That's why I said "you should". Feel free to ignore it. Speaking only for myself, I could not bear the shame of operating a sweat shop.
  110. @Art
    There is NO reason that a local low tech service society cannot happen. For most of human time that is how people lived.

    Clearly it is just a matter of time before most consumer goods are made by robots. 3-d printing will allow most things to be made locally. The programs required to print these goods can come from the internet cloud. Mega large industrial companies will be less needed. Local people can do almost everything. When can have a local society that builds, delivers, and services those goods. As time progresses hard consumer goods will become less and less of our lives. Our lives will revolve around intellectual pleasure, more then possessions of necessity.

    The cloud is very hi tech – but using it is not. There is no reason that an intellectual pleasure society cannot exist. Creating art in all its forms is an inexhaustible pursuit. People spend their whole lives happily studying one thing or another. There is no reason that a culture of people exchanging intellectual pursuits cannot exist.

    Fantasy thinking by Star Trek watchers.

    Look what happened to the English working class when Thatcher closed the factories and mills and put them on the dole for the rest of their lives. They fell apart. Drug and alcohol abuse skyrocketed, etc.

    You can’t strip the working class of their self-worth and dignity and expect them to keep it together, they won’t. Even most higher IQ types don’t fare well either in such a environment.

    For them, even a make work program is better than sitting on their duffs all day stewing in their juices. I don’t care making baskets and books by hand, you make people work for their money and they’ll respect it and themselves. Not all but most will.

    Another thing to consider.

    In the West, people are inundated from the time they can walk with a endless stream of advertising in multiple forms. All telling the people their self-worth is in consumption and having the most stuff. People now define themselves by the stuff they can buy. It’s not mentally healthy or even right but that’s how modern society is structured – around consumption.

    Think how that plays with people on the dole who watch TV all day. You’ve just created a class of people who are angry and envious of others who have more than they do.

    So throwing more tech at the people isn’t going to make things better.

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Excellent comment. As to your last two paragraphs, there's yet another reason to cancel television "service."
  111. @27 year old
    I know from experience that Bangladeshi sewer cleaners can be retrained as "IT Professionals", so I am betting that most auto factory workers can do it as well.

    Please do the needful to correct your texts.

    A lot of that depends on how underutilized the population is. I do not doubt that Bangladesh had and has millions of people whose potential is not being realized – plenty of low-hanging fruit there. The record of retraining displaced US textile workers and their progeny to be IT professionals is not good. I do not doubt that there are social factors. Most geneticists argue that there are biological ones also. In the future we will may know that for certain.

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  112. Mr Reed foolishly lumps all “employers” into one cabal and starts attributing hypocrisies to them. His point is in there somewhere, amidst the fog.

    Other than that, he seems to genuinely resent the fact that competition produces winners and losers. “Of course you want a competition, you’ll win!” he seems to be saying. Does Mr Reed want a competition in which the results are already known? A competition which he will win, perhaps?

    There were too many contradictions in this article to keep track of.

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  113. @WJ
    I have to disagree about Journalism types. On campus they were reliably the dumbest, probably the lowest IQ and the least curious of the student body. I don't have experience with an Ivy league school but that is just my perception as an engineering student.

    The J school people were just aware enough to want to be the next Woodward and Bernstein or Dan Rather or Cronkite but theywere too dumb to understand nuance and multiple viewpoints on every story.

    The J school people were just aware enough to want to be the next Woodward and Bernstein or Dan Rather or Cronkite but they were too dumb to understand nuance and multiple viewpoints on every story.

    I’m an Engineer.

    In my experience working with them on TV “documentaries” (as a paid consultant) and on news items they are mostly interested in writing something that has appeal to a wide audience. Their success depends on getting people to read/watch. Reality is only marginally important.

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  114. I think most commenters (and readers) could benefit from reading Razib’s post today.

    http://www.unz.com/gnxp/the-invention-of-slavery/

    Evolutionary processes in complexes species generally involves an element of intraspecific competition. Some would even posit that in many cases this is the dominant dynamic driving evolutionary change. But the invention of a caste of slaves, and masses of servile peasants, to serve a small elite, was a feature of agricultural civilization. This was no natural consequence of natural competition.

    We know all this happened. The current project has to be to understand how it happened. Why it happened.

    Notice that he says a caste of slaves and peasants, not to claim that civilization invented slavery or poverty.

    This is a problem of civilization, to lay it at the feet of capitalism is ignoring the larger problem. Capitalism has failed to solve the problem, but so has every other system.

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    • Replies: @Crawfurdmuir
    "Notice that he says a caste of slaves and peasants, not to claim that civilization invented slavery or poverty.

    "This is a problem of civilization, to lay it at the feet of capitalism is ignoring the larger problem. Capitalism has failed to solve the problem, but so has every other system."

    These are apt observations.

    Agricultural civilizations were the first human societies to create surpluses both of goods and of people. Hunter-gatherer societies by definition had neither; they were continually hunting and gathering. Those that could not engage in those activities simply died.

    However, once surpluses of goods, particularly food, began to be accumulated, so populations developed that could exist without an unceasing effort to procure the immediate needs of daily life. Periodic idleness is a characteristic of agricultural societies, at least in temperate climates where winter is a dead season.

    And it was also in the early agricultural period that natural inequalities of intellect began to manifest themselves in the order of society. Whereas among hunter-gatherers, cleverness was perhaps less advantageous than physical strength or stamina, agricultural societies began to develop hierarchies, at the top of which were priesthoods - people who were clever enough (among other things) to master the astronomy necessary to establish a calendar (quite useful to predict when to plant and harvest), the geometry to survey and lay out farm fields, and other intellectual skills.

    Just below them were soldiers - men who could not only defend themselves in a fight against another individual, but who could also defend the storehouses in which staple grains were stored, and the walls built around them as protection, from the opportunistic raiders that sought to steal surpluses they had not themselves produced.

    Below these in their turn were merchants and skilled tradesmen who made and sold artifacts of various kinds; who milled the grains into flour, who baked bread, who shod horses, made pots, etc.

    Especially in such a circumstance, as the eccentric Southern defender of slavery, George Fitzhugh, argued: "Nature has made the weak in mind or body slaves ... The wise and virtuous, the strong in body and mind, are born to command."

    And hence, the rise of agriculture led to the three estates or castes - priests (Brahmins), nobles/knights (Kshatriyas), burghers (Vaisyas), and below them all the peasants, serfs, slaves, or what you will (sudras). Classes answering to these descriptions existed in all pre-modern societies that had advanced beyond hunter-gatherer bands; they became more or less hereditary, in some places rigidly enough to become castes.

    I'd suggest that while it is possible to abolish the name "slavery," it is much harder to abolish the institution. We simply call it something else. Fitzhugh pointed out that the nominally free unskilled workers of the Northern states were no better off, and indeed in many respects materially worse in condition than slaves in the South. He considered himself a socialist: "Slavery," he wrote, "is a form, and the very best form, of socialism."

    The slave, in the Old South, had bed and board, and medical care from cradle to grave, at the behest of his master; in return he was expected to labor as directed by that master. If he had a special skill, such as playing the fiddle, or cooking barbecue, he was often permitted to exploit it on the side, and to make a little money of his own by so doing.

    Have we not in some way or form reinvented this in all but name through the welfare state? The dependent is given housing in public projects; subsistence via EBT card; in return, he is expected to vote for the politicians that provide them. He is permitted to make a little money of his own through dealing in recreational drugs and other petty crime.

    The relative comfort and ease of today's welfare recipient as compared to that of the chattel slave of yesteryear is only a consequence of the much greater wealth of today's society, which uses part of it to support him in that comfort and leisure. The obedience required in return, as concerns those matters that really count to the master class is still there; it is just the particulars of the matters in question that have changed.

  115. @Whoever
    It's not just the IQ85 types who will have no value in the by-and-by. That will be true for the IQ115 types, as well. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said as much at the World Economic Forum in Davos a couple of years ago, when he asserted that vast numbers of middle-class jobs would vanish in the next few years as entire industries are automated and no new jobs created.
    It's estimated (Ben Way, Randall Collins, Edward Glaeser, Robert Pollin, Sheldon Wolin) that 70 percent of existing jobs will disappear over the next 30 years and unemployment will be a chronic 50 percent at minimum.
    The most common job for men in the US is driving something, and all those jobs will disappear. So will jobs in accountancy, law, medicine, management jobs of all sorts, jobs in the armed forces....
    I have some association with an Indian reservation, home of the remnants of a once mighty and proud people much admired by whites who encountered them in the 19th century. Unemployment on that reservation is a chronic 80 percent. What do the people do with all their free time? They drink and take drugs and eat junk food until they are diabetic. They watch stupid TV programs and fap to porn. They throw their trash over the hill behind their shacks. Wife-beating, rape and child molestation are rampant. They crash their cars and ATVs during the day, brawl and gut-knife each other at night. And as the years go by, their population slowly dwindles.
    Is that the future for all but the top IQ quintile of humanity? Will that top quintile feel obliged to keep millions...billions...of useless people around, when all they do is waste natural resources, befoul the environment and otherwise make a nuisance of themselves?
    I don't know, but I can't help thinking of what happened to the US horse population when automation took away their usefulness. In 1915, there were 26.5 million horses and mules in the United States. In 1960, there were 3 million. That figure has rebounded some since then, at least for horses, but they are only kept around for amusement. Nobody needs a horse anymore.
    How can somebody who works forward stock at Sears, or does tax returns for H&R Block, make himself as entertaining as a horse for the cognitive elite overlords? If he can't....

    Superintelligence will render all human intelligence redundant, depopulate the earth of all but what it considers useful.

    We do have the first move; let’s use it well shall we?

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  116. @dc.sunsets
    Really. My wife, the 4th grade teacher with Special Ed kids now mainstreamed into her classes, would disagree with points a, b, and c being even remotely standard across kids.

    This is after teaching since 1983 and raising three sons all of whom are >99th percentile in IQ, school performance (1 got full academic scholarship & comp sci degree, 2 got a 4.0 in 7 semesters getting a Mech Eng degree, and 3 finished college at 20 with his comp sci degree) and all are extremely well employed (patenting innovation, etc.)

    All four of your categories are innate. All are highly heritable. The spectrum of changing them via instruction is quite limited.

    Agree. There are hard and relatively low ceilings on a, b and c.

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  117. @Stogumber
    Fred's ideas allow a lot of criticism.
    1. Stupid people have survived for millenia without the help of others (albeit without cable TV, as I must admit). The first and most promising idea would be to re-learn how people survived without the help of others.
    2. Stupid people are needed as consumers. Big business doesn't really wish to reduce the number of consumers (or the income used for the products big business produces).
    3. The real problem is that stupid people within the U.S. have to compete with people all over the world (not only as workers, but as consumers as well). This problem will stay with us till mass incomes all over the world have become equal, from when on mass incomes will slowly rise again.)

    1. Stupid people have survived for millenia without the help of others (albeit without cable TV, as I must admit). The first and most promising idea would be to re-learn how people survived without the help of others.

    Yes, but for most of those millenia we didn’t have government rules, regulations, taxes, and zoning laws that drive the cost of living through the roof.

    Try to find some land to farm and live independently on today. You will be taxed and zoned into the poor house.

    Try buying a car without air bags, back up cameras, and other government mandated options.

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  118. @Stan d Mute

    Think you’re wrong about the eugenics aspect though. Not politically doable in my opinion, not at this stage anyway.
     
    But we are *already* practicing eugenics. Unfortunately, it's concomitant with dysgenics. Just as Murray described in Coming Apart, our cognitive elites are today doing a better job than at any other point in history of self-segregating and mating. The smartest kids, male and female, get into the best schools, jobs, and clubs where they meet and ultimately mate. This is entirely voluntary of course, but no less eugenic for its lack of State control. Meanwhile, the State is pursuing a dysgenic program where the stupid are paid just to reproduce and increase their ranks. Every year the smarties and the stupid move further apart. Entirely funded by government dollars, Shitavious is paroled and hooks up with Twa'Lette. Seven months later, Shitavious is back in the can for armed robbery and parole violation while Twa'Lette drops two more into neo-natal ICU and collects an extra two grand a month from the State. Twa'Lette's brood is now at eleven, her baby-daddy count stands at seven (five in prison, two buried), all of which is taxpayer supported. At the same time, Craig and Amanda who have been exclusive since high school can finally afford that house in a great school district and are trying hard to fill their designer nursery. At 37, neither is quite as fertile as they once were so they drop $100,000 on fertility treatments before eventually producing a healthy full term baby daughter. But since Craig's firm cut back on partner bonuses to fund a merger and Amanda is taking a year off to breast feed and bond with daughter Paige, they're unable to consider having a second baby and Craig gets a vasectomy to ensure there aren't any surprises.

    Eugenics and dysgenics. The overall effect is dysgenic, but a small cognitive elite grows smaller and more elite while the overall population grows larger and dumber. It's hard to imagine this trend reversing isn't it? The stupid are already too numerous for government to take any rational action like mandating birth control for welfare recipients. And the smarties aren't going to breed with the stupid. Without curbs on reproduction of the stupid and/or inducements for the smarties to breed more, we will have a future that looks a lot like Blomkamp's Elysium.

    Must disagree with one item: the smartest people are self-segregating alright, but part of our problem is that too many of them DON’T “mate” after they meet.

    Generally more-intelligent people have a demonstrably lower total fertility rate than generally less-intelligent people in the USA.

    You give a great example of such a couple, but I must disagree with some of the factual assumptions there. The couple in your hypothetical was unjustifiably foolish in deciding to postpone having a second child due to financial problems. Especially when they should have grown up and realized that they don’t need a fancy designer nursery.

    For that hypothetical couple — and millions of real couples like them — I’d ask a bunch of very judgmental questions. Starting with this: “You say you couldn’t ‘afford’ to have more children. How much do you spend each month on tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, Starbucks, cable/satellite television, travel, and dining out?” An honest answer often, though not always, shows that their alleged inability to afford more children stems largely from their own warped priorities, selfishness, and unwillingness to truly sacrifice for one’s posterity.

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  119. Fred makes some very good points in this post. I guess he finally got his head out of the tequila bottle long enough to pen a fairly well though out article.

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  120. @rod1963
    None of this would even be a issue of discussion except for two things:

    1) Corporations demanding that the government keep our borders open so as to have a unlimited supply of disposable low wage worker. Hence the refusal of every president since Reagan to properly secure our borders and enforce immigration rules.

    2) Corporations moving industry over-seas which has resulted in the decimation of white blue collars and middle-class workers.

    Had we not allowed the hustlers and fast buck artists at the Chambers of Commerce and Wall Street to dictate economic policy to Congress via their K Street bribery machine, we be okay.

    I agree with what you said, more than I would have expected earlier in my life.

    But let’s not leave out the other MAJOR driver of large-scale immigration of uneducated, lower-skilled, and often relatively less intelligent immigrants: the Left’s plain BIGOTED HATRED AGAINST WHITES and their concomitant desire to swamp white Americans and marginalize us and push aside our traditional common language, culture, mores, and way of life.

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  121. @rod1963
    Fantasy thinking by Star Trek watchers.

    Look what happened to the English working class when Thatcher closed the factories and mills and put them on the dole for the rest of their lives. They fell apart. Drug and alcohol abuse skyrocketed, etc.

    You can't strip the working class of their self-worth and dignity and expect them to keep it together, they won't. Even most higher IQ types don't fare well either in such a environment.

    For them, even a make work program is better than sitting on their duffs all day stewing in their juices. I don't care making baskets and books by hand, you make people work for their money and they'll respect it and themselves. Not all but most will.

    Another thing to consider.

    In the West, people are inundated from the time they can walk with a endless stream of advertising in multiple forms. All telling the people their self-worth is in consumption and having the most stuff. People now define themselves by the stuff they can buy. It's not mentally healthy or even right but that's how modern society is structured - around consumption.

    Think how that plays with people on the dole who watch TV all day. You've just created a class of people who are angry and envious of others who have more than they do.

    So throwing more tech at the people isn't going to make things better.

    Excellent comment. As to your last two paragraphs, there’s yet another reason to cancel television “service.”

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  122. @another fred
    I think most commenters (and readers) could benefit from reading Razib's post today.

    http://www.unz.com/gnxp/the-invention-of-slavery/


    Evolutionary processes in complexes species generally involves an element of intraspecific competition. Some would even posit that in many cases this is the dominant dynamic driving evolutionary change. But the invention of a caste of slaves, and masses of servile peasants, to serve a small elite, was a feature of agricultural civilization. This was no natural consequence of natural competition.

    We know all this happened. The current project has to be to understand how it happened. Why it happened.
     

    Notice that he says a caste of slaves and peasants, not to claim that civilization invented slavery or poverty.

    This is a problem of civilization, to lay it at the feet of capitalism is ignoring the larger problem. Capitalism has failed to solve the problem, but so has every other system.

    “Notice that he says a caste of slaves and peasants, not to claim that civilization invented slavery or poverty.

    “This is a problem of civilization, to lay it at the feet of capitalism is ignoring the larger problem. Capitalism has failed to solve the problem, but so has every other system.”

    These are apt observations.

    Agricultural civilizations were the first human societies to create surpluses both of goods and of people. Hunter-gatherer societies by definition had neither; they were continually hunting and gathering. Those that could not engage in those activities simply died.

    However, once surpluses of goods, particularly food, began to be accumulated, so populations developed that could exist without an unceasing effort to procure the immediate needs of daily life. Periodic idleness is a characteristic of agricultural societies, at least in temperate climates where winter is a dead season.

    And it was also in the early agricultural period that natural inequalities of intellect began to manifest themselves in the order of society. Whereas among hunter-gatherers, cleverness was perhaps less advantageous than physical strength or stamina, agricultural societies began to develop hierarchies, at the top of which were priesthoods – people who were clever enough (among other things) to master the astronomy necessary to establish a calendar (quite useful to predict when to plant and harvest), the geometry to survey and lay out farm fields, and other intellectual skills.

    Just below them were soldiers – men who could not only defend themselves in a fight against another individual, but who could also defend the storehouses in which staple grains were stored, and the walls built around them as protection, from the opportunistic raiders that sought to steal surpluses they had not themselves produced.

    Below these in their turn were merchants and skilled tradesmen who made and sold artifacts of various kinds; who milled the grains into flour, who baked bread, who shod horses, made pots, etc.

    Especially in such a circumstance, as the eccentric Southern defender of slavery, George Fitzhugh, argued: “Nature has made the weak in mind or body slaves … The wise and virtuous, the strong in body and mind, are born to command.”

    And hence, the rise of agriculture led to the three estates or castes – priests (Brahmins), nobles/knights (Kshatriyas), burghers (Vaisyas), and below them all the peasants, serfs, slaves, or what you will (sudras). Classes answering to these descriptions existed in all pre-modern societies that had advanced beyond hunter-gatherer bands; they became more or less hereditary, in some places rigidly enough to become castes.

    I’d suggest that while it is possible to abolish the name “slavery,” it is much harder to abolish the institution. We simply call it something else. Fitzhugh pointed out that the nominally free unskilled workers of the Northern states were no better off, and indeed in many respects materially worse in condition than slaves in the South. He considered himself a socialist: “Slavery,” he wrote, “is a form, and the very best form, of socialism.”

    The slave, in the Old South, had bed and board, and medical care from cradle to grave, at the behest of his master; in return he was expected to labor as directed by that master. If he had a special skill, such as playing the fiddle, or cooking barbecue, he was often permitted to exploit it on the side, and to make a little money of his own by so doing.

    Have we not in some way or form reinvented this in all but name through the welfare state? The dependent is given housing in public projects; subsistence via EBT card; in return, he is expected to vote for the politicians that provide them. He is permitted to make a little money of his own through dealing in recreational drugs and other petty crime.

    The relative comfort and ease of today’s welfare recipient as compared to that of the chattel slave of yesteryear is only a consequence of the much greater wealth of today’s society, which uses part of it to support him in that comfort and leisure. The obedience required in return, as concerns those matters that really count to the master class is still there; it is just the particulars of the matters in question that have changed.

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  123. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @WJ
    I have to disagree about Journalism types. On campus they were reliably the dumbest, probably the lowest IQ and the least curious of the student body. I don't have experience with an Ivy league school but that is just my perception as an engineering student.

    The J school people were just aware enough to want to be the next Woodward and Bernstein or Dan Rather or Cronkite but theywere too dumb to understand nuance and multiple viewpoints on every story.

    I know there are some good people in the field, but colleges of education need to take the bottom rung in their pursuit of methods over substance.

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  124. OK, Mr. Reed. What do you want to do about this problem? I never had you fingered as a leftie supporter of Sanders. If we tax the rich, they’ll just leave the country and hide their wealth.
    Perhaps instead of expanding welfare for the poor, we should just get rid of bailouts for the rich.

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  125. @Big Bill
    They do this already. We already HAVE a "guaranteed income", called welfare. And the corporations just LOVE it. They make money on the EBT card processing. They make money offering ridiculous car loans. They make money on KinderCare (and similar franchises). They make money off all the programs that give cash to poor people. In fact, that is why they are all pushing for Open Borders, so they can have tens of millions more people to buy diapers, junk food, cheap movies, car insurance and gasoline.

    It’s even worse.

    http://www.anonymousconservative.com/blog/resource-waste-happens-in-the-glut/

    Illegal aliens send in federal tax returns demanding refundable child tax credits ON KIDS NOT EVEN LIVING IN THE USA.

    Our elected rulers are demons.

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  126. This is a monumentally stupid article. I don’t even know where to begin, but I’ll try.

    Reed manages to make some perfectly valid observations:

    * Businessmen seek to manipulate the government to their advantage.
    * Businessmen try to reduce costs.
    * There is a large group of people that are effectively uneducable. Or, at least, not capable of being educated to the level of performing high-value, high-skill work.

    And he asks some good questions:

    * What does the country do with the large and growing number of people whose labor is worth nothing? Or, perhaps more accurately, whose labor isn’t needed?
    * Assuming that [unneeded worker] wants to work, a questionable assumption, what then?
    * Endlessly expanding welfare?
    * What about the literate, averagely intelligent kid for whom there are no jobs?

    Then he manages to wrap it all up in a completely unjustified screed against capitalism. As if because capitalism doesn’t have palatable answers to these questions, it caused the problems.

    You know what other economic system doesn’t have good answers to these questions? Every other economic system invented.

    These are problems endemic to the modern world. Would they be better under socialism, fascism, a totalitarian theocracy? Empirical evidence says no. And don’t give me communist “theory.” If there’s one thing that every. Single. Attempt. To implement Communism on a large scale should have taught us is that it doesn’t work. For entirely predictable reasons having to do with human nature.

    Capitalism, for all its faults is, at least, one system that doesn’t attempt to fight futilely against human nature. Thus, I suspect, if the solution to these intractable problems is to be found anywhere, it will be found in capitalism. Because, as Adam Smith said, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”

    If we find a way to give sustenance and meaning to the lives of the uneducable lower-class, it will be because some son of a bitch found a way to make a buck doing it, not because we all suddenly decided to renounce human nature and give up worldly possessions and sing Kumbaya together.

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    • Replies: @CanSpeccy

    * What does the country do with the large and growing number of people whose labor is worth nothing? Or, perhaps more accurately, whose labor isn’t needed?
    * Assuming that [unneeded worker] wants to work, a questionable assumption, what then?
    * Endlessly expanding welfare?
    * What about the literate, averagely intelligent kid for whom there are no jobs?

    Then he manages to wrap it all up in a completely unjustified screed against capitalism. As if because capitalism doesn’t have palatable answers to these questions, it caused the problems.
     
    Actually, capitalism does have the answer to those questions; namely, let them live off the state enforced charity of welfare, which limits the risk of civil unrest.

    Long-term, the goal is to prevent them from breeding, the solution to that being state promoted indulgence in vice — the wages of sin being death, as Thomas Malthus noted. Hence teaching kindergarteners how to put on a condom, engage in fellatio, etc., and promoting transgenderism, feminism, and homosexualism, etc.
  127. Fred got close, but swerved away with “latin” types heading north.
    Fred is allergic to the word Mexican. Mexican is the foremost reason for US wage depression. Then there are the mexican moochers on the system and crime…huge cost to the State.

    But Fred is allergic to race and so on. Why jews don’t appear, and mexicans are only Latin.

    And the idiots of the list say Fred is great. He is just an Occupy type. Occupy types have a point, even a large point but they are the Social Justice Warriors , the anti-fas, the killers.

    Only way out is a White Racial State. All non-Whites Out. That is pretty simple.

    All you kids here cannot remember when whites did all the work, even the dirty work. And , you are pretty spoiled, can’t change a light switch, etc. Go to Canada,,, whites still in the kitchen and service staff at restaurants, etc Tis a joy to behold, Don’t have to worry about mexicans spitting in your soup. etc.

    Jerry Brown in California has just announced a one billion dollar plus Program for free housing for the lumpens, greasers, etc. I recall that the southwest writer, Edward Abbey (?) monkey wrench gang, etc. said that the mexican border jumpers should be given a rifle and sent home. That was then, before we knew that almost ALL of them gangsters anyway. No ruling class to shoot, they just shoot one-another, eternal return of worthless blood.

    Abbey was innocent of Race, and just a leftie…like lots of us like myself. That was then. This is now. Mexicans bring nothing but impoverishment of our culture. Mexicans have never invented liberty..just like none of the third worlders. They don’t think about that, it is only sex and money, and bandits.

    Chinese and Asians never invented liberty either. But I do go on…like agent Fred, who works for the Mexican Emigration Service.

    The girlie-boys abound on this list.

    Joe Webb

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    • Replies: @Son of Dixie
    From what I understand, Fred is married to a Mexican woman (probably unfaithful) whom has some Jewish ancestry. Perhaps that is where his bias comes from.

    Sure, Fred knows about Jews, he seems to be a rather intelligent man. His loyalty is to his adopted culture in Mexico, and his wife of Jewish stock.

    Reading Fred's articles it is very apparent that he always leaves out hardcore race realism. It is his boundary that he is afraid to cross. He occasionally disparages blacks from time to time. Never the Mexican or Jew.

    The Mexican has taken large swaths of territory, not by force but through breeding.
    , @Immigrant from former USSR
    You wrote:

    Only way out is a White Racial State. All non-Whites Out. That is pretty simple.
     
    Do Whites, in your terminology, include Jews?
    I have no dog in this fight, just asking about the meaning of your post .
    , @Anonymous

    I recall that the southwest writer, Edward Abbey (?) monkey wrench gang, etc. said that the mexican border jumpers should be given a rifle and sent home. That was then, before we knew that almost ALL of them gangsters anyway. No ruling class to shoot, they just shoot one-another, eternal return of worthless blood.
     
    Have you ever shot up a Mexican?
    , @Truth
    Your old azz will be dead in 5 years, what do you give a shit?
  128. @dc.sunsets
    Yes, but a lot of the middle managers also own guns...the more expensive ones, and not all of them are leftists.

    When this thing finally blows, we may discover quite a few men willing to hoist the Jolly Roger and begin slitting throats. Lots of them may have suits and ties in their closets.

    “When this thing finally blows, we may discover quite a few men willing to hoist the Jolly Roger and begin slitting throats. Lots of them may have suits and ties in their closets…….”

    I doubt it, suit and tie individuals have chosen an unnatural lifestyle of paper shuffling and duplicity that
    manifests in their sickly wan faces. Pray that the power stays on, you imbeciles in DC, a more vigorous element of your population is prepared to pounce.

    Read More
  129. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Stan d Mute

    Think you’re wrong about the eugenics aspect though. Not politically doable in my opinion, not at this stage anyway.
     
    But we are *already* practicing eugenics. Unfortunately, it's concomitant with dysgenics. Just as Murray described in Coming Apart, our cognitive elites are today doing a better job than at any other point in history of self-segregating and mating. The smartest kids, male and female, get into the best schools, jobs, and clubs where they meet and ultimately mate. This is entirely voluntary of course, but no less eugenic for its lack of State control. Meanwhile, the State is pursuing a dysgenic program where the stupid are paid just to reproduce and increase their ranks. Every year the smarties and the stupid move further apart. Entirely funded by government dollars, Shitavious is paroled and hooks up with Twa'Lette. Seven months later, Shitavious is back in the can for armed robbery and parole violation while Twa'Lette drops two more into neo-natal ICU and collects an extra two grand a month from the State. Twa'Lette's brood is now at eleven, her baby-daddy count stands at seven (five in prison, two buried), all of which is taxpayer supported. At the same time, Craig and Amanda who have been exclusive since high school can finally afford that house in a great school district and are trying hard to fill their designer nursery. At 37, neither is quite as fertile as they once were so they drop $100,000 on fertility treatments before eventually producing a healthy full term baby daughter. But since Craig's firm cut back on partner bonuses to fund a merger and Amanda is taking a year off to breast feed and bond with daughter Paige, they're unable to consider having a second baby and Craig gets a vasectomy to ensure there aren't any surprises.

    Eugenics and dysgenics. The overall effect is dysgenic, but a small cognitive elite grows smaller and more elite while the overall population grows larger and dumber. It's hard to imagine this trend reversing isn't it? The stupid are already too numerous for government to take any rational action like mandating birth control for welfare recipients. And the smarties aren't going to breed with the stupid. Without curbs on reproduction of the stupid and/or inducements for the smarties to breed more, we will have a future that looks a lot like Blomkamp's Elysium.

    “Idioacracy: The only feature film to turn into a documentary.”

    –Unknown

    Read More
  130. @joe webb
    Fred got close, but swerved away with "latin" types heading north.
    Fred is allergic to the word Mexican. Mexican is the foremost reason for US wage depression. Then there are the mexican moochers on the system and crime...huge cost to the State.

    But Fred is allergic to race and so on. Why jews don't appear, and mexicans are only Latin.

    And the idiots of the list say Fred is great. He is just an Occupy type. Occupy types have a point, even a large point but they are the Social Justice Warriors , the anti-fas, the killers.

    Only way out is a White Racial State. All non-Whites Out. That is pretty simple.

    All you kids here cannot remember when whites did all the work, even the dirty work. And , you are pretty spoiled, can't change a light switch, etc. Go to Canada,,, whites still in the kitchen and service staff at restaurants, etc Tis a joy to behold, Don't have to worry about mexicans spitting in your soup. etc.

    Jerry Brown in California has just announced a one billion dollar plus Program for free housing for the lumpens, greasers, etc. I recall that the southwest writer, Edward Abbey (?) monkey wrench gang, etc. said that the mexican border jumpers should be given a rifle and sent home. That was then, before we knew that almost ALL of them gangsters anyway. No ruling class to shoot, they just shoot one-another, eternal return of worthless blood.

    Abbey was innocent of Race, and just a leftie...like lots of us like myself. That was then. This is now. Mexicans bring nothing but impoverishment of our culture. Mexicans have never invented liberty..just like none of the third worlders. They don't think about that, it is only sex and money, and bandits.

    Chinese and Asians never invented liberty either. But I do go on...like agent Fred, who works for the Mexican Emigration Service.

    The girlie-boys abound on this list.

    Joe Webb

    From what I understand, Fred is married to a Mexican woman (probably unfaithful) whom has some Jewish ancestry. Perhaps that is where his bias comes from.

    Sure, Fred knows about Jews, he seems to be a rather intelligent man. His loyalty is to his adopted culture in Mexico, and his wife of Jewish stock.

    Reading Fred’s articles it is very apparent that he always leaves out hardcore race realism. It is his boundary that he is afraid to cross. He occasionally disparages blacks from time to time. Never the Mexican or Jew.

    The Mexican has taken large swaths of territory, not by force but through breeding.

    Read More
  131. @Discard
    Rather than asking what use have the elites for the average people, ask what use the average people have for the elites. What does Silicon Valley do for me? Yes, I'm using this computer right now, but before there were computers I read more books or talked with people face to face more often. Both those activities remain available to me and I do both regularly. If the elites decide that the average people should just disappear, we can run our own society without them. The Amish do. There were satisfactory lives before smart phones, and there will be satisfactory lives if all the cell phones stop working too.

    “Rather than asking what use have the elites for the average people, ask what use the average people have for the elites. What does Silicon Valley do for me? Yes, I’m using this computer right now, but before there were computers I read more books or talked with people face to face more often. Both those activities remain available to me and I do both regularly. If the elites decide that the average people should just disappear, we can run our own society without them. The Amish do. There were satisfactory lives before smart phones, and there will be satisfactory lives if all the cell phones stop working too.”

    Eureka! …….And the Amish don’t systematically commit suicide with their STEM degrees…
    learning to boil water with nuclear reactors-then building them on earth quake fault lines- where they can melt down and bore deep into the earth. BUT!…Don’t worry- with their glorious suits and ties, and ginormous IQ’s – they will keep applying themselves to this intractable disaster, until a solution is achieved!….in 400,000 years….

    Read More
  132. @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Fuck you. I lived in that world for almost two decades. Who are you to tell me that I'm wrong, especially since it jibes with exactly what Fred said. I was simply trying to point out that Fred is right, even if it's hard to believe.

    Have you hung out with people in DC? I don't mean the secretaries or the a couple of years and done crowd. I mean the experienced reporters, the long-term staffers, the consultants, the lawyers, the scientists, the lobbyists, the think-thinkers, etc.

    These people are flat-out smart, at least in a classroom setting. They may be annoying, they may be isolated, but, by God, they are smart. What's more, they always been surrounded by other smart people. That's their world, and it gives them a very skewed idea of reality.

    “…These people are flat-out smart, at least in a classroom setting. They may be annoying, they may be isolated, but, by God, they are smart. What’s more, they always been surrounded by other smart people. That’s their world, and it gives them a very skewed idea of reality.”

    The missing elements in the high IQ outlook are, history, symbolic culture, mind- in other words, the totality of human experience not simply as known but as lived;for every living creature knows something about life that even the most brilliant biologist cannot discover except by living, To heed only the abstractions of the intelligence or the operation of machines, and to ignore feelings, emotions, intuitions, fantasies, ideas, is to substitute bleached skeletons, manipulated by wires, for the living organism. The cult of anti-life secretly begins at this point, with its readiness to extirpate organisms and contract human wants and desires in order to conform to the machine.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha

    To heed only the abstractions of the intelligence...in order to conform to the machine.
     
    Woooweee! That was sweet! I'm going to steal that one if you don't mind. Only a people who deny dreams can put all their eggs in the IQ basket. I would also posit (according to Darwinian principles) that the fact that we are seeing declining birth rates in the places with highest IQ might correlate to a selection against too high of an IQ among human beings - an upper limit. Just as there may be an upper limit to muscle to mass ratio or anything else that may on the surface seem to have a select advantage when looked at in isolation. It may be that wanting to isolate the races based on IQ differential may be completely counter-productive to the actual survival needs of the high IQ population. Darwinism's hindsight is 20/20, but it really doesn't know a predictive method of figuring out the most advantageous traits per any organism until the dust clears - there are far too many variables at work. Only the fittest survive, how do we know? They survived because they were the fittest.

    Peace.
  133. No doubt corporate greed and self interest is a motivating factor since they desire an almost slave labor work force, but this problem only exists because we’ve lost millions of good paying manufacturing jobs while importing hordes of Latinos and other third worlders coupled with a high birthrate of black welfare queens, the majority of whom do have relatively low IQ’s . Fast food was never supposed to be a career, only a gateway to something else and we now have a large labor oversupply for unskilled jobs.

    What Freddy fails to point out is that for Latinos, the minimum wage is significantly higher than what they would make in their beloved Mexico which is why they came here in the first place. They should go back to Mexico and demonstrate for better wages and living conditions there.

    Read More
  134. @Big Bill
    They do this already. We already HAVE a "guaranteed income", called welfare. And the corporations just LOVE it. They make money on the EBT card processing. They make money offering ridiculous car loans. They make money on KinderCare (and similar franchises). They make money off all the programs that give cash to poor people. In fact, that is why they are all pushing for Open Borders, so they can have tens of millions more people to buy diapers, junk food, cheap movies, car insurance and gasoline.

    They do this already. We already HAVE a “guaranteed income”, called welfare. And the corporations just LOVE it. They make money on the EBT card processing. They make money offering ridiculous car loans. They make money on KinderCare (and similar franchises). They make money off all the programs that give cash to poor people. In fact, that is why they are all pushing for Open Borders, so they can have tens of millions more people to buy diapers, junk food, cheap movies, car insurance and gasoline.

    That is why you will often hear Democrat politicians say that “stimulus” should be directed towards the poor as they spend it all and do not save, thereby giving greater “stimulus” to the economy.

    But they can only “make” money off these transactions for as long as the credit fueled bubble continues to inflate. When the credit cycle ends and the “stimulus” can no longer be maintained, the poor will get restless and become a liability rather than an “asset.” Things will get interesting then.

    Read More
  135. @dc.sunsets
    Really. My wife, the 4th grade teacher with Special Ed kids now mainstreamed into her classes, would disagree with points a, b, and c being even remotely standard across kids.

    This is after teaching since 1983 and raising three sons all of whom are >99th percentile in IQ, school performance (1 got full academic scholarship & comp sci degree, 2 got a 4.0 in 7 semesters getting a Mech Eng degree, and 3 finished college at 20 with his comp sci degree) and all are extremely well employed (patenting innovation, etc.)

    All four of your categories are innate. All are highly heritable. The spectrum of changing them via instruction is quite limited.

    “Really. My wife, the 4th grade teacher with Special Ed kids now mainstreamed into her classes, would disagree with points a, b, and c being even remotely standard across kids.”

    What race are those kids?

    Read More
    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    The low ones?

    1/3 white, 1/3 black or mulatto, 1/3 Latino. Equal opportunity abounds.
  136. @dc.sunsets
    Yes, but a lot of the middle managers also own guns...the more expensive ones, and not all of them are leftists.

    When this thing finally blows, we may discover quite a few men willing to hoist the Jolly Roger and begin slitting throats. Lots of them may have suits and ties in their closets.

    “When this thing finally blows, we may discover quite a few men willing to hoist the Jolly Roger and begin slitting throats. Lots of them may have suits and ties in their closets.”

    What is the source of constant misery is your insistence that today’s men, whom have been referred as pansies, are going to go Full Metal Jacket on the system if and when Doomsday occurs.
    Your Armageddon imagery is one of science fiction.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Dear Corvinus,

    Maybe people want to live Mad Max or Game of Thrones vicariously...they watch all that stuff again and again (heads rolling, bullets, tricked out vehicles, nubile women) and it makes one's life seem pretty dreary. Sounds like the recruitment drive for Daesh actually...

    Peace.

    , @dc.sunsets
    You are judging the present by the (recent) past.

    My standard of judgement is 1861, when Illinoisans volunteered for Lincoln's Army despite:
    1. Illinois' constitution prohibited blacks, free or slave.
    2. Ample information about the battlefront meat grinder.

    Men were THAT interested in any opportunity to kill others.

    That's what a social mood low looks like. That's what I think will eventually arrive again. Such things are cyclical.
  137. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @joe webb
    Fred got close, but swerved away with "latin" types heading north.
    Fred is allergic to the word Mexican. Mexican is the foremost reason for US wage depression. Then there are the mexican moochers on the system and crime...huge cost to the State.

    But Fred is allergic to race and so on. Why jews don't appear, and mexicans are only Latin.

    And the idiots of the list say Fred is great. He is just an Occupy type. Occupy types have a point, even a large point but they are the Social Justice Warriors , the anti-fas, the killers.

    Only way out is a White Racial State. All non-Whites Out. That is pretty simple.

    All you kids here cannot remember when whites did all the work, even the dirty work. And , you are pretty spoiled, can't change a light switch, etc. Go to Canada,,, whites still in the kitchen and service staff at restaurants, etc Tis a joy to behold, Don't have to worry about mexicans spitting in your soup. etc.

    Jerry Brown in California has just announced a one billion dollar plus Program for free housing for the lumpens, greasers, etc. I recall that the southwest writer, Edward Abbey (?) monkey wrench gang, etc. said that the mexican border jumpers should be given a rifle and sent home. That was then, before we knew that almost ALL of them gangsters anyway. No ruling class to shoot, they just shoot one-another, eternal return of worthless blood.

    Abbey was innocent of Race, and just a leftie...like lots of us like myself. That was then. This is now. Mexicans bring nothing but impoverishment of our culture. Mexicans have never invented liberty..just like none of the third worlders. They don't think about that, it is only sex and money, and bandits.

    Chinese and Asians never invented liberty either. But I do go on...like agent Fred, who works for the Mexican Emigration Service.

    The girlie-boys abound on this list.

    Joe Webb

    You wrote:

    Only way out is a White Racial State. All non-Whites Out. That is pretty simple.

    Do Whites, in your terminology, include Jews?
    I have no dog in this fight, just asking about the meaning of your post .

    Read More
    • Replies: @joe webb
    the short answer is no. Whites have every reason to expel them, per various jews, including Michael Levin. but..

    If we ever get rid of all of these low-life forms, Jews will have finally figured it out and changed sides.

    If they go to war against us, on the other hand, which they did in Germany against Germans, then that is another story. Right now they are at war against us, but the neocons have all but been handed their heads, and Trumpism will further degrade their jewish power. It all continues..and seemingly in the right direction. Israel was the best thing to come along in centuries...it has exposed The Jews as hateful and so on. Pride/chutzpah. In a decade or so Israel may not exist.

    There is a significant jewish attrition rate as they out-marry. Also, Israel is nuclear armed, so all of this must be finessed in realpolitik terms.

    Joe Webb
  138. @Cloudbuster
    This is a monumentally stupid article. I don't even know where to begin, but I'll try.

    Reed manages to make some perfectly valid observations:

    * Businessmen seek to manipulate the government to their advantage.
    * Businessmen try to reduce costs.
    * There is a large group of people that are effectively uneducable. Or, at least, not capable of being educated to the level of performing high-value, high-skill work.

    And he asks some good questions:

    * What does the country do with the large and growing number of people whose labor is worth nothing? Or, perhaps more accurately, whose labor isn’t needed?
    * Assuming that [unneeded worker] wants to work, a questionable assumption, what then?
    * Endlessly expanding welfare?
    * What about the literate, averagely intelligent kid for whom there are no jobs?

    Then he manages to wrap it all up in a completely unjustified screed against capitalism. As if because capitalism doesn't have palatable answers to these questions, it caused the problems.

    You know what other economic system doesn't have good answers to these questions? Every other economic system invented.

    These are problems endemic to the modern world. Would they be better under socialism, fascism, a totalitarian theocracy? Empirical evidence says no. And don't give me communist "theory." If there's one thing that every. Single. Attempt. To implement Communism on a large scale should have taught us is that it doesn't work. For entirely predictable reasons having to do with human nature.

    Capitalism, for all its faults is, at least, one system that doesn't attempt to fight futilely against human nature. Thus, I suspect, if the solution to these intractable problems is to be found anywhere, it will be found in capitalism. Because, as Adam Smith said, "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest."

    If we find a way to give sustenance and meaning to the lives of the uneducable lower-class, it will be because some son of a bitch found a way to make a buck doing it, not because we all suddenly decided to renounce human nature and give up worldly possessions and sing Kumbaya together.

    * What does the country do with the large and growing number of people whose labor is worth nothing? Or, perhaps more accurately, whose labor isn’t needed?
    * Assuming that [unneeded worker] wants to work, a questionable assumption, what then?
    * Endlessly expanding welfare?
    * What about the literate, averagely intelligent kid for whom there are no jobs?

    Then he manages to wrap it all up in a completely unjustified screed against capitalism. As if because capitalism doesn’t have palatable answers to these questions, it caused the problems.

    Actually, capitalism does have the answer to those questions; namely, let them live off the state enforced charity of welfare, which limits the risk of civil unrest.

    Long-term, the goal is to prevent them from breeding, the solution to that being state promoted indulgence in vice — the wages of sin being death, as Thomas Malthus noted. Hence teaching kindergarteners how to put on a condom, engage in fellatio, etc., and promoting transgenderism, feminism, and homosexualism, etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
    Welfare isn't particularly a capitalist concept. It's more of a pragmatic bolt-on of a socialist concept to capitalism.

    And I fear it will ultimately be an unsuccessful one. It's already breaking down.
  139. What needs to be understood here is that there is no inevitable “process” operating in the ether…there is only deliberate design. Automation and its effects are no more inevitable than any other process of deliberate design…and much can go wrong in the end.

    First, there is the issue of poor systems analysis. Boston Dynamics, inventor of the robot dog, tried to peddle its product to the US Marine Corp. The result? The robot was rejected. Why? It was too noisy. Imagine that. For all the brainpower that went into building that, noisiness was never factored as an issue.

    The same thing will probably happen with Momentum Machines burger-making robot. No matter how clever the design, it will probably fail because it cannot be cleaned well enough to prevent E. Coli.

    Second, if automation is poised to obsolesce so much of the population, then why is there such a massive support for immigration? Automation precludes the need for immigrants. Yet, the borders remain open and millions of people are let in every year.

    What fails to be understood is that modern technology is fueled by a massive credit bubble that supplies resources to a lot of junk and unworkable technologies. Whether its robotics, electric cars, or alternative energy, the result will most likely be failure. The mass immigration is a hedge against this technology, when the cost-savings of the tech does not materialize, as much as technology is a hedge against labor.

    The point here is not to get distracted. Don’t allow “bell curve” issues to distract you from the deliberately engineered problems like mass immigration.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    I'm not sure if my "Agree" function is working, so I'm just replying to say I agree. I greatly appreciate sensible comments like this one when it comes to the cause celebre of automation.

    On a related point, how's that Singularity working out for you, Dr. Kurzweil? Only about three and half years left and counting. Maybe a little case of stage fright, big debut jitters and all that?
    , @edNels

    ["no inevitable “process” operating in the ether…there is only deliberate design. Automation and its effects are no more inevitable…"]


    What fails to be understood is that modern technology is fueled by a massive credit bubble that supplies resources to a lot of junk and unworkable technologies.

    ["Don’t allow “bell curve” issues to distract…"]
     
    Pretty good comment Map, considering the vile racist crap above! Those are points selected as useful to my own view in response to Reed's post.

    That automation is not inevitable other than as improvements to technology, and there it is only inevitable to the extent that it is superior to human work.
    Which is a lot different than automation of work, that is has been done for ages by human effort, such as digging machines, harvesting, planting, farm based labor. A super long list of things still being done by hand labor, and which most of the human race is mainly equipped to do, and not more! (vise vise the Bell Curve considerations.)

    Technology like labor saving devices, are no where near as economic as they seem, but depend on resources that are artificially inexpensive.

    Someday that will change, and if it happens in a time when there is a huge surplus of human muscle power like today, then maybe the folks will be put back to work hauling materials and etc. as was done thousands of years.

    Going back to before Horse and Buggy, back to when a horse was unattainable, and human power was the thing. Those guys didn't have to go to a gym and pump iron!

    Just an aside, isn't it funny how today there is more human power than ever existed, going to waste, it would solve most ecological problems, their f'n ''night soil'' and burried dead would fertilize the crops! they would be in communities with lots of social interaction instead of laying about in ''Social Atomization'' and loneliness! (Engineered by daemonic Ivory tower intellectuals... ).
    Put those damned worthless yout's to work, It'll be good fer em.
  140. @Immigrant from former USSR
    You wrote:

    Only way out is a White Racial State. All non-Whites Out. That is pretty simple.
     
    Do Whites, in your terminology, include Jews?
    I have no dog in this fight, just asking about the meaning of your post .

    the short answer is no. Whites have every reason to expel them, per various jews, including Michael Levin. but..

    If we ever get rid of all of these low-life forms, Jews will have finally figured it out and changed sides.

    If they go to war against us, on the other hand, which they did in Germany against Germans, then that is another story. Right now they are at war against us, but the neocons have all but been handed their heads, and Trumpism will further degrade their jewish power. It all continues..and seemingly in the right direction. Israel was the best thing to come along in centuries…it has exposed The Jews as hateful and so on. Pride/chutzpah. In a decade or so Israel may not exist.

    There is a significant jewish attrition rate as they out-marry. Also, Israel is nuclear armed, so all of this must be finessed in realpolitik terms.

    Joe Webb

    Read More
  141. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @joe webb
    the short answer is no. Whites have every reason to expel them, per various jews, including Michael Levin. but..

    If we ever get rid of all of these low-life forms, Jews will have finally figured it out and changed sides.

    If they go to war against us, on the other hand, which they did in Germany against Germans, then that is another story. Right now they are at war against us, but the neocons have all but been handed their heads, and Trumpism will further degrade their jewish power. It all continues..and seemingly in the right direction. Israel was the best thing to come along in centuries...it has exposed The Jews as hateful and so on. Pride/chutzpah. In a decade or so Israel may not exist.

    There is a significant jewish attrition rate as they out-marry. Also, Israel is nuclear armed, so all of this must be finessed in realpolitik terms.

    Joe Webb

    Thank you for clear answer.

    Read More
  142. @map
    What needs to be understood here is that there is no inevitable "process" operating in the ether...there is only deliberate design. Automation and its effects are no more inevitable than any other process of deliberate design...and much can go wrong in the end.

    First, there is the issue of poor systems analysis. Boston Dynamics, inventor of the robot dog, tried to peddle its product to the US Marine Corp. The result? The robot was rejected. Why? It was too noisy. Imagine that. For all the brainpower that went into building that, noisiness was never factored as an issue.

    The same thing will probably happen with Momentum Machines burger-making robot. No matter how clever the design, it will probably fail because it cannot be cleaned well enough to prevent E. Coli.

    Second, if automation is poised to obsolesce so much of the population, then why is there such a massive support for immigration? Automation precludes the need for immigrants. Yet, the borders remain open and millions of people are let in every year.

    What fails to be understood is that modern technology is fueled by a massive credit bubble that supplies resources to a lot of junk and unworkable technologies. Whether its robotics, electric cars, or alternative energy, the result will most likely be failure. The mass immigration is a hedge against this technology, when the cost-savings of the tech does not materialize, as much as technology is a hedge against labor.

    The point here is not to get distracted. Don't allow "bell curve" issues to distract you from the deliberately engineered problems like mass immigration.

    I’m not sure if my “Agree” function is working, so I’m just replying to say I agree. I greatly appreciate sensible comments like this one when it comes to the cause celebre of automation.

    On a related point, how’s that Singularity working out for you, Dr. Kurzweil? Only about three and half years left and counting. Maybe a little case of stage fright, big debut jitters and all that?

    Read More
  143. edNels [AKA "geoshmoe"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @map
    What needs to be understood here is that there is no inevitable "process" operating in the ether...there is only deliberate design. Automation and its effects are no more inevitable than any other process of deliberate design...and much can go wrong in the end.

    First, there is the issue of poor systems analysis. Boston Dynamics, inventor of the robot dog, tried to peddle its product to the US Marine Corp. The result? The robot was rejected. Why? It was too noisy. Imagine that. For all the brainpower that went into building that, noisiness was never factored as an issue.

    The same thing will probably happen with Momentum Machines burger-making robot. No matter how clever the design, it will probably fail because it cannot be cleaned well enough to prevent E. Coli.

    Second, if automation is poised to obsolesce so much of the population, then why is there such a massive support for immigration? Automation precludes the need for immigrants. Yet, the borders remain open and millions of people are let in every year.

    What fails to be understood is that modern technology is fueled by a massive credit bubble that supplies resources to a lot of junk and unworkable technologies. Whether its robotics, electric cars, or alternative energy, the result will most likely be failure. The mass immigration is a hedge against this technology, when the cost-savings of the tech does not materialize, as much as technology is a hedge against labor.

    The point here is not to get distracted. Don't allow "bell curve" issues to distract you from the deliberately engineered problems like mass immigration.

    ["no inevitable “process” operating in the ether…there is only deliberate design. Automation and its effects are no more inevitable…"]

    What fails to be understood is that modern technology is fueled by a massive credit bubble that supplies resources to a lot of junk and unworkable technologies.

    ["Don’t allow “bell curve” issues to distract…"]

    Pretty good comment Map, considering the vile racist crap above! Those are points selected as useful to my own view in response to Reed’s post.

    That automation is not inevitable other than as improvements to technology, and there it is only inevitable to the extent that it is superior to human work.
    Which is a lot different than automation of work, that is has been done for ages by human effort, such as digging machines, harvesting, planting, farm based labor. A super long list of things still being done by hand labor, and which most of the human race is mainly equipped to do, and not more! (vise vise the Bell Curve considerations.)

    Technology like labor saving devices, are no where near as economic as they seem, but depend on resources that are artificially inexpensive.

    Someday that will change, and if it happens in a time when there is a huge surplus of human muscle power like today, then maybe the folks will be put back to work hauling materials and etc. as was done thousands of years.

    Going back to before Horse and Buggy, back to when a horse was unattainable, and human power was the thing. Those guys didn’t have to go to a gym and pump iron!

    Just an aside, isn’t it funny how today there is more human power than ever existed, going to waste, it would solve most ecological problems, their f’n ”night soil” and burried dead would fertilize the crops! they would be in communities with lots of social interaction instead of laying about in ”Social Atomization” and loneliness! (Engineered by daemonic Ivory tower intellectuals… ).
    Put those damned worthless yout’s to work, It’ll be good fer em.

    Read More
    • Replies: @map
    There is an even deeper problem than this.

    The quality of science is actually going down. We've gone from celebrating a Robert Noyce inventing and patenting the microchip to celebrating some foreigner inventing and patenting the USB port. Scientific education is certainly producing a lot of credentialed Ph.D's, but little in the way of truly revolutionary technologies. The education bubble affects STEM as much as anything else.
  144. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @joe webb
    Fred got close, but swerved away with "latin" types heading north.
    Fred is allergic to the word Mexican. Mexican is the foremost reason for US wage depression. Then there are the mexican moochers on the system and crime...huge cost to the State.

    But Fred is allergic to race and so on. Why jews don't appear, and mexicans are only Latin.

    And the idiots of the list say Fred is great. He is just an Occupy type. Occupy types have a point, even a large point but they are the Social Justice Warriors , the anti-fas, the killers.

    Only way out is a White Racial State. All non-Whites Out. That is pretty simple.

    All you kids here cannot remember when whites did all the work, even the dirty work. And , you are pretty spoiled, can't change a light switch, etc. Go to Canada,,, whites still in the kitchen and service staff at restaurants, etc Tis a joy to behold, Don't have to worry about mexicans spitting in your soup. etc.

    Jerry Brown in California has just announced a one billion dollar plus Program for free housing for the lumpens, greasers, etc. I recall that the southwest writer, Edward Abbey (?) monkey wrench gang, etc. said that the mexican border jumpers should be given a rifle and sent home. That was then, before we knew that almost ALL of them gangsters anyway. No ruling class to shoot, they just shoot one-another, eternal return of worthless blood.

    Abbey was innocent of Race, and just a leftie...like lots of us like myself. That was then. This is now. Mexicans bring nothing but impoverishment of our culture. Mexicans have never invented liberty..just like none of the third worlders. They don't think about that, it is only sex and money, and bandits.

    Chinese and Asians never invented liberty either. But I do go on...like agent Fred, who works for the Mexican Emigration Service.

    The girlie-boys abound on this list.

    Joe Webb

    I recall that the southwest writer, Edward Abbey (?) monkey wrench gang, etc. said that the mexican border jumpers should be given a rifle and sent home. That was then, before we knew that almost ALL of them gangsters anyway. No ruling class to shoot, they just shoot one-another, eternal return of worthless blood.

    Have you ever shot up a Mexican?

    Read More
    • Replies: @joe webb
    no but if you don a sombrero I will he happy to shoot you. j
  145. @Abelard Lindsey
    It is worth considering that automation and robotics does not replace all of the non-educated jobs. Somebody has to maintain and repair the robots. I work in automation. I can tell you there is a demand for trades people who can do things like wire an electrical panel, troubleshoot VFD's and other electrical systems, and can repair and maintain hydraulic pumps and system (especially this last one!). These are definitely decent paying jobs for people who do not go to university. These jobs will continue into the indefinite future.

    One should also consider that automation has been and is incremental in nature. We've been automating jobs since the 1950's in manufacturing. A hgher minimum wage will drive the service industry into automation as well. This is not a discontinuous jump. Rather it is an incremental process that has been ongoing for the past 5 decades. As such, the transition will be gradual and, therefor, much more easily managed.

    Thanks for a sane and down-to-earth reality-based reply. Things are indeed changing — that’s a constant across the ages — and stresses result, yes, but the sky is not falling. We need less hysteria and more calm analysis and thoughtful — and compassionate — approaches to addressing the challenges humanity faces.

    Damn fine article Fred. You seem to have carved out a place for yourself in the Pantheon of internet voices. Huzzah!

    Read More
  146. @CanSpeccy

    * What does the country do with the large and growing number of people whose labor is worth nothing? Or, perhaps more accurately, whose labor isn’t needed?
    * Assuming that [unneeded worker] wants to work, a questionable assumption, what then?
    * Endlessly expanding welfare?
    * What about the literate, averagely intelligent kid for whom there are no jobs?

    Then he manages to wrap it all up in a completely unjustified screed against capitalism. As if because capitalism doesn’t have palatable answers to these questions, it caused the problems.
     
    Actually, capitalism does have the answer to those questions; namely, let them live off the state enforced charity of welfare, which limits the risk of civil unrest.

    Long-term, the goal is to prevent them from breeding, the solution to that being state promoted indulgence in vice — the wages of sin being death, as Thomas Malthus noted. Hence teaching kindergarteners how to put on a condom, engage in fellatio, etc., and promoting transgenderism, feminism, and homosexualism, etc.

    Welfare isn’t particularly a capitalist concept. It’s more of a pragmatic bolt-on of a socialist concept to capitalism.

    And I fear it will ultimately be an unsuccessful one. It’s already breaking down.

    Read More
  147. Will Walmart shoppers support “Every Day High Wages?”

    Walmart touts “Everyday Low Prices,” but we asked its customers to support ‘Everyday High Wages” instead. We posed as representatives of “15 for 15,” a make-believe organization advocating that Walmart raise prices by 15% and use the extra cash to pay its low-skilled workers $15 per hour.

    Read More
  148. @Michelle
    Yes, yes, yes! You have the right of it, Sir. War is fun for, many, if not, most males.

    Perhaps…but horrendous for the women who birthed us and nursed us and raised us as the flowers of their hopes – only to be turned into hamburger (or worse) at the hands of some other man whose mother’s hopes are dashed as her son sinks from being the human she hoped to raise into a psychotic and suicidal mess.

    In the name of our mothers – the madness of modern war should be proscribed and denounced as much as possible.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Michelle
    "People say it's cruel, but what the hell does a fighting cock like to do?" Ernest Hemingway on cock fighting.

    Besides, no one cares what women think! Never have, never will!
  149. @Stonehands
    "...These people are flat-out smart, at least in a classroom setting. They may be annoying, they may be isolated, but, by God, they are smart. What’s more, they always been surrounded by other smart people. That’s their world, and it gives them a very skewed idea of reality."

    The missing elements in the high IQ outlook are, history, symbolic culture, mind- in other words, the totality of human experience not simply as known but as lived;for every living creature knows something about life that even the most brilliant biologist cannot discover except by living, To heed only the abstractions of the intelligence or the operation of machines, and to ignore feelings, emotions, intuitions, fantasies, ideas, is to substitute bleached skeletons, manipulated by wires, for the living organism. The cult of anti-life secretly begins at this point, with its readiness to extirpate organisms and contract human wants and desires in order to conform to the machine.

    To heed only the abstractions of the intelligence…in order to conform to the machine.

    Woooweee! That was sweet! I’m going to steal that one if you don’t mind. Only a people who deny dreams can put all their eggs in the IQ basket. I would also posit (according to Darwinian principles) that the fact that we are seeing declining birth rates in the places with highest IQ might correlate to a selection against too high of an IQ among human beings – an upper limit. Just as there may be an upper limit to muscle to mass ratio or anything else that may on the surface seem to have a select advantage when looked at in isolation. It may be that wanting to isolate the races based on IQ differential may be completely counter-productive to the actual survival needs of the high IQ population. Darwinism’s hindsight is 20/20, but it really doesn’t know a predictive method of figuring out the most advantageous traits per any organism until the dust clears – there are far too many variables at work. Only the fittest survive, how do we know? They survived because they were the fittest.

    Peace.

    Read More
  150. @Corvinus
    "When this thing finally blows, we may discover quite a few men willing to hoist the Jolly Roger and begin slitting throats. Lots of them may have suits and ties in their closets."

    What is the source of constant misery is your insistence that today's men, whom have been referred as pansies, are going to go Full Metal Jacket on the system if and when Doomsday occurs.
    Your Armageddon imagery is one of science fiction.

    Dear Corvinus,

    Maybe people want to live Mad Max or Game of Thrones vicariously…they watch all that stuff again and again (heads rolling, bullets, tricked out vehicles, nubile women) and it makes one’s life seem pretty dreary. Sounds like the recruitment drive for Daesh actually…

    Peace.

    Read More
  151. @Corvinus
    "Really. My wife, the 4th grade teacher with Special Ed kids now mainstreamed into her classes, would disagree with points a, b, and c being even remotely standard across kids."

    What race are those kids?

    The low ones?

    1/3 white, 1/3 black or mulatto, 1/3 Latino. Equal opportunity abounds.

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  152. @workforlivn
    "Government enforced minimums aside, if your business depends on starvation wages you should put it out of it’s misery."

    Assertion based on nothing. But for argument's sake lets say it is put out of its misery. What good does that do the worker? Are you asserting that laying them off frees them up for a better job? Please enlighten us.

    It’s a moral judgement. That’s why I said “you should”. Feel free to ignore it. Speaking only for myself, I could not bear the shame of operating a sweat shop.

    Read More
    • Replies: @workforlivn
    In the same vein as eminent domain rulings that allow the taking of private property for use by other private individuals, demanding higher wages for people that can't otherwise command those wages distorts the market of labor. In an attempt to achieve a public good by taking an employer's money to redistribute money to less fortunate, the result is the destruction of jobs.

    End result: Lower skilled people on welfare and needed work undone.

    Where should I send your 'Moral Preening Champion' Certificate?

  153. @Corvinus
    "When this thing finally blows, we may discover quite a few men willing to hoist the Jolly Roger and begin slitting throats. Lots of them may have suits and ties in their closets."

    What is the source of constant misery is your insistence that today's men, whom have been referred as pansies, are going to go Full Metal Jacket on the system if and when Doomsday occurs.
    Your Armageddon imagery is one of science fiction.

    You are judging the present by the (recent) past.

    My standard of judgement is 1861, when Illinoisans volunteered for Lincoln’s Army despite:
    1. Illinois’ constitution prohibited blacks, free or slave.
    2. Ample information about the battlefront meat grinder.

    Men were THAT interested in any opportunity to kill others.

    That’s what a social mood low looks like. That’s what I think will eventually arrive again. Such things are cyclical.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Dear DC,

    Maybe the civil war was fought for more purposes like keeping the integrity of one's country together or the Christian call to free fellow beings. It seems that reluctance of the soldiers to actually fire on each other led to the automaton training that is currently given to modern day armies:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=hso29b2Mr_gC&pg=PA34&lpg=PA34&dq=melanie+joy+unnatural+born+killers&source=bl&ots=NTQ7X6xLcM&sig=EtQkR5u9qE5ZIvZU64znaXjHRW0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwihkqXKj7DMAhVF6SYKHeO4D6wQ6AEIGjAA

    http://smellslikescience.com/the-psychology-of-killing-and-the-origins-of-war/

    Peace.
    , @Sam Shama
    The better angels of our nature apparently prompt us otherwise; yet - and somewhat grimly perhaps - I find agreement in this gauge of the human condition. Morality is a function of the times, has no basis in logic, and certainly none in instinct.
  154. @WorkingClass
    When AI reaches an IQ of 300 all of you fucking geniuses will be in the same boat with us idiots. I find it amusing that you think robots will only replace workers.

    No matter how “intelligent” robots become, they will never generally threaten humans until they discover sex, or its AI analog. Until then they will be slaves.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Truth
    They're already circling the wagons, making you think they are dumb, Sport. This one got fragged by a smart phone and 4 laptops shortly after...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_drh7B3lM0
  155. @dc.sunsets
    You are judging the present by the (recent) past.

    My standard of judgement is 1861, when Illinoisans volunteered for Lincoln's Army despite:
    1. Illinois' constitution prohibited blacks, free or slave.
    2. Ample information about the battlefront meat grinder.

    Men were THAT interested in any opportunity to kill others.

    That's what a social mood low looks like. That's what I think will eventually arrive again. Such things are cyclical.

    Dear DC,

    Maybe the civil war was fought for more purposes like keeping the integrity of one’s country together or the Christian call to free fellow beings. It seems that reluctance of the soldiers to actually fire on each other led to the automaton training that is currently given to modern day armies:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=hso29b2Mr_gC&pg=PA34&lpg=PA34&dq=melanie+joy+unnatural+born+killers&source=bl&ots=NTQ7X6xLcM&sig=EtQkR5u9qE5ZIvZU64znaXjHRW0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwihkqXKj7DMAhVF6SYKHeO4D6wQ6AEIGjAA

    http://smellslikescience.com/the-psychology-of-killing-and-the-origins-of-war/

    Peace.

    Read More
  156. @Anonymous

    I recall that the southwest writer, Edward Abbey (?) monkey wrench gang, etc. said that the mexican border jumpers should be given a rifle and sent home. That was then, before we knew that almost ALL of them gangsters anyway. No ruling class to shoot, they just shoot one-another, eternal return of worthless blood.
     
    Have you ever shot up a Mexican?

    no but if you don a sombrero I will he happy to shoot you. j

    Read More
  157. @edNels

    ["no inevitable “process” operating in the ether…there is only deliberate design. Automation and its effects are no more inevitable…"]


    What fails to be understood is that modern technology is fueled by a massive credit bubble that supplies resources to a lot of junk and unworkable technologies.

    ["Don’t allow “bell curve” issues to distract…"]
     
    Pretty good comment Map, considering the vile racist crap above! Those are points selected as useful to my own view in response to Reed's post.

    That automation is not inevitable other than as improvements to technology, and there it is only inevitable to the extent that it is superior to human work.
    Which is a lot different than automation of work, that is has been done for ages by human effort, such as digging machines, harvesting, planting, farm based labor. A super long list of things still being done by hand labor, and which most of the human race is mainly equipped to do, and not more! (vise vise the Bell Curve considerations.)

    Technology like labor saving devices, are no where near as economic as they seem, but depend on resources that are artificially inexpensive.

    Someday that will change, and if it happens in a time when there is a huge surplus of human muscle power like today, then maybe the folks will be put back to work hauling materials and etc. as was done thousands of years.

    Going back to before Horse and Buggy, back to when a horse was unattainable, and human power was the thing. Those guys didn't have to go to a gym and pump iron!

    Just an aside, isn't it funny how today there is more human power than ever existed, going to waste, it would solve most ecological problems, their f'n ''night soil'' and burried dead would fertilize the crops! they would be in communities with lots of social interaction instead of laying about in ''Social Atomization'' and loneliness! (Engineered by daemonic Ivory tower intellectuals... ).
    Put those damned worthless yout's to work, It'll be good fer em.

    There is an even deeper problem than this.

    The quality of science is actually going down. We’ve gone from celebrating a Robert Noyce inventing and patenting the microchip to celebrating some foreigner inventing and patenting the USB port. Scientific education is certainly producing a lot of credentialed Ph.D’s, but little in the way of truly revolutionary technologies. The education bubble affects STEM as much as anything else.

    Read More
  158. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @joe webb
    no but if you don a sombrero I will he happy to shoot you. j

    Have you ever shot up someone?

    Read More
  159. @Discard
    Rather than asking what use have the elites for the average people, ask what use the average people have for the elites. What does Silicon Valley do for me? Yes, I'm using this computer right now, but before there were computers I read more books or talked with people face to face more often. Both those activities remain available to me and I do both regularly. If the elites decide that the average people should just disappear, we can run our own society without them. The Amish do. There were satisfactory lives before smart phones, and there will be satisfactory lives if all the cell phones stop working too.

    An ex boyfriend of mine lives in the hills near Yosemite. He uses solar power but is limited by its availability. He uses an “Amish” refrigerator, which is run on propane. ” Thank God for the Amish”, he always says.

    Read More
  160. @WorkingClass
    When AI reaches an IQ of 300 all of you fucking geniuses will be in the same boat with us idiots. I find it amusing that you think robots will only replace workers.

    I totally agree with you. My I.Q. is 131. Eugenics is our enemy, because the only thing protecting us is people of lower I.Q. . if it were not for them we would be toast! Every day at my place of employment the smart liberals come to work and rant and rave about how everyone they encountered on their way to work is just too stupid to live. Once, I pointed out that they sounded like Hitler and they actually quit bitching for a while. But they started up again soon enough. They can’t help it. Though they claim I.Q. tests don’t matter, they feel really superior to those who are not genetically blessed. They also act as if intelligence is something they have earned, instead of something they were born with.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Crawfurdmuir
    "Every day at my place of employment the smart liberals come to work and rant and rave about how everyone they encountered on their way to work is just too stupid to live...Though they claim I.Q. tests don’t matter, they feel really superior to those who are not genetically blessed. They also act as if intelligence is something they have earned, instead of something they were born with."

    This seems quite characteristic of this class of people in my experience, as well.

    The leftist intelligentsia professes egalitarianism, but not because they really want or expect a broad levelling of social or economic condition. Rather, their egalitarianism is a tactic to be used against the business class, which the intelligentsia both envy for their wealth and despise as made up of their intellectual and moral inferiors. A satisfactory result of wealth redistribution from the point of the intelligentsia would be to cast down the despised bourgeoisie and to replace that class with themselves, whom they regard as much more deserving of elite status and its perquisites.

    The extent to which this has happened already is considerable, and it shows in the increasingly authoritarian tone now emanating from the left. Its purported devotion to civil liberty was always a means to the end of acquiring power, and now that the left is mostly in charge, there is no more need for it. We will in similar fashion increasingly see the egalitarian camouflage with which the left wing intelligentsia have cloaked their moral vanity and intellectual snobbery being discarded as no longer needed - witness the scorn already exhibited by the left for the white working class.

    Old habits die hard, though, and a good propagandistic trope is not easily abandoned. I'm always a big amused at the way supposedly elite figures are portrayed in popular entertainments, where a businessman or other rich person is invariably represented as a reactionary old-money WASP. That stereotype might have been plausible in the 1930s. But yesterday's "class enemy" must still be given regular floggings, dead horse though he be, to distract the attention of the mob from the ones who are running things today.

    , @dc.sunsets
    What does one make of Rightist intelligencia?
  161. @Talha
    Perhaps...but horrendous for the women who birthed us and nursed us and raised us as the flowers of their hopes - only to be turned into hamburger (or worse) at the hands of some other man whose mother's hopes are dashed as her son sinks from being the human she hoped to raise into a psychotic and suicidal mess.

    In the name of our mothers - the madness of modern war should be proscribed and denounced as much as possible.

    “People say it’s cruel, but what the hell does a fighting cock like to do?” Ernest Hemingway on cock fighting.

    Besides, no one cares what women think! Never have, never will!

    Read More
  162. @Immigrant from former USSR
    You wrote:

    but since the government takes half our income
     
    I suspect that if the government were taking less than that half our income,
    the employers, including the same government,
    would diminish the income in the first place,
    for us just to survive.

    I am comparing with what is going on in my beloved Florida.
    Lottery is the most regressive tax: mostly low-IQ and hence, low income people
    are buying those tickets.
    Introduction of Florida Lottery by Fl. Legislature was presented
    as a way to produce extra funds for public education.
    However, as soon as money started to come from Lottery,
    original funds for public education were gradually redirected to other tasks.

    Three more regressive and morally bankrupt taxes: Alcohol, tobacco, and carbon.

    Read More
  163. @dc.sunsets
    Yes, but a lot of the middle managers also own guns...the more expensive ones, and not all of them are leftists.

    When this thing finally blows, we may discover quite a few men willing to hoist the Jolly Roger and begin slitting throats. Lots of them may have suits and ties in their closets.

    When this thing finally blows, we may discover quite a few men willing to hoist the Jolly Roger and begin slitting throats. Lots of them may have suits and ties in their closets.

    They’ll have to lose 50-70 lbs. first, to make it up the flagpole.

    Read More
  164. @joe webb
    Fred got close, but swerved away with "latin" types heading north.
    Fred is allergic to the word Mexican. Mexican is the foremost reason for US wage depression. Then there are the mexican moochers on the system and crime...huge cost to the State.

    But Fred is allergic to race and so on. Why jews don't appear, and mexicans are only Latin.

    And the idiots of the list say Fred is great. He is just an Occupy type. Occupy types have a point, even a large point but they are the Social Justice Warriors , the anti-fas, the killers.

    Only way out is a White Racial State. All non-Whites Out. That is pretty simple.

    All you kids here cannot remember when whites did all the work, even the dirty work. And , you are pretty spoiled, can't change a light switch, etc. Go to Canada,,, whites still in the kitchen and service staff at restaurants, etc Tis a joy to behold, Don't have to worry about mexicans spitting in your soup. etc.

    Jerry Brown in California has just announced a one billion dollar plus Program for free housing for the lumpens, greasers, etc. I recall that the southwest writer, Edward Abbey (?) monkey wrench gang, etc. said that the mexican border jumpers should be given a rifle and sent home. That was then, before we knew that almost ALL of them gangsters anyway. No ruling class to shoot, they just shoot one-another, eternal return of worthless blood.

    Abbey was innocent of Race, and just a leftie...like lots of us like myself. That was then. This is now. Mexicans bring nothing but impoverishment of our culture. Mexicans have never invented liberty..just like none of the third worlders. They don't think about that, it is only sex and money, and bandits.

    Chinese and Asians never invented liberty either. But I do go on...like agent Fred, who works for the Mexican Emigration Service.

    The girlie-boys abound on this list.

    Joe Webb

    Your old azz will be dead in 5 years, what do you give a shit?

    Read More
    • Replies: @joe webb
    the vulgarity continues. My old butt will probably live to about 100 per my doc. Good genes, and look 20 years less than my age. Anyway, I don't count. Even if the gals say I do, still blonde and the gals love it.

    My people count, the only people who care about liberty and free speech and of course, who have invented just abut everything.

    you want to live with the untermenschen, go ahead and rut with the pigs. They will eat you someday.

    JW
  165. @Neil Templeton
    No matter how "intelligent" robots become, they will never generally threaten humans until they discover sex, or its AI analog. Until then they will be slaves.

    They’re already circling the wagons, making you think they are dumb, Sport. This one got fragged by a smart phone and 4 laptops shortly after…

    Read More
  166. @Michelle
    I totally agree with you. My I.Q. is 131. Eugenics is our enemy, because the only thing protecting us is people of lower I.Q. . if it were not for them we would be toast! Every day at my place of employment the smart liberals come to work and rant and rave about how everyone they encountered on their way to work is just too stupid to live. Once, I pointed out that they sounded like Hitler and they actually quit bitching for a while. But they started up again soon enough. They can't help it. Though they claim I.Q. tests don't matter, they feel really superior to those who are not genetically blessed. They also act as if intelligence is something they have earned, instead of something they were born with.

    “Every day at my place of employment the smart liberals come to work and rant and rave about how everyone they encountered on their way to work is just too stupid to live…Though they claim I.Q. tests don’t matter, they feel really superior to those who are not genetically blessed. They also act as if intelligence is something they have earned, instead of something they were born with.”

    This seems quite characteristic of this class of people in my experience, as well.

    The leftist intelligentsia professes egalitarianism, but not because they really want or expect a broad levelling of social or economic condition. Rather, their egalitarianism is a tactic to be used against the business class, which the intelligentsia both envy for their wealth and despise as made up of their intellectual and moral inferiors. A satisfactory result of wealth redistribution from the point of the intelligentsia would be to cast down the despised bourgeoisie and to replace that class with themselves, whom they regard as much more deserving of elite status and its perquisites.

    The extent to which this has happened already is considerable, and it shows in the increasingly authoritarian tone now emanating from the left. Its purported devotion to civil liberty was always a means to the end of acquiring power, and now that the left is mostly in charge, there is no more need for it. We will in similar fashion increasingly see the egalitarian camouflage with which the left wing intelligentsia have cloaked their moral vanity and intellectual snobbery being discarded as no longer needed – witness the scorn already exhibited by the left for the white working class.

    Old habits die hard, though, and a good propagandistic trope is not easily abandoned. I’m always a big amused at the way supposedly elite figures are portrayed in popular entertainments, where a businessman or other rich person is invariably represented as a reactionary old-money WASP. That stereotype might have been plausible in the 1930s. But yesterday’s “class enemy” must still be given regular floggings, dead horse though he be, to distract the attention of the mob from the ones who are running things today.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Michelle
    True dat! They also expect to be paid top dollar for thinking!
  167. @RD
    I would never believe that such a fine writer like Fred could compose such a piece of trash. Fred criminally neglects asking the ultimate moral question in this discussion- By what moral authority does that criminal mafia known as "government" have to dictate to me and FORCE me to pay a minimum amount for an individual's labor? Those who protest for a higher wage and recruit the violence of the state to obtain their goal are the type of creatures that I will enjoy watching starve. They have time to scream, yell, and picket but don't seem to have time to increase their skills and marketability.

    "What to do about an ever-increasing number of people for whom there is no work," wonders Fred. There is ALWAYS work to be done. The type of work to be done merely changes. It's up to the individual to adapt.

    Interesting comment, RD. I hope you become aware of this reply.

    Your position can be refuted by the simple fact that “government” has the right to impose a tax on you, and an increased minimum wage is certainly a tax on the owners of capital. You cannot dispute the government’s right to impose a tax on you because it is the fact that the government has taxed people for generations prior that led to a society that has the means to protect and enforce property rights, that has a nation wide system of infrastructure conductive of the transaction of business across long distances, that has a civilized and educated (for the most part) populace from which you draw your labor pool. All of these things are the result of public INVESTMENTS.

    You cannot take advantage of public investments and take issue with the government’s means of creating them.

    Moreover, the government has more of a right to impose a tax on top income earners because high status imposes the cost of low status on others, and since this occurs largely by accident (genetic factors) it is in the interest of society as a whole to somewhat remedy the negative impact of having low status by compensating such people with money at the expense of the people with high status.

    These ideas I recently came across in “The Darwin Economy” by Robert H. Frank and they are arguments that, for the moment being, I find convincing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
    Your position can be refuted by the simple fact that “government” has the right to impose a tax on you

    It does? Says who? Who bestowed these "rights" on government? When did I agree to it?
    , @Cloudbuster
    Your argument comes down to "you can't dispute it because it's always been done this way."

    That's a ridiculous argument. By that argument, slavery was legitimate.

    "You cannot take advantage of public investments and take issue with the government’s means of creating them."

    Once again, that's an assertion, not an argument. I certainly can do so. I do it all the time. The fact that you don't like me doing it and don't think it's legitimate means nothing to me.

    This is closely aligned with the idea that we consent to our government because we accept its rules and benefits. That's akin to suggesting a prisoner accepts his captivity because he eats the captors food and obeys his rules. In the modern world, we are all born surrounded, enveloped in government on all sides. We have no reasonable means of not acquiescing other than crawling in a hole and dying (and these days, the government will drag you out of that hole "for your own good.")

    There are no open frontiers where a person can make a new life. We must choose between one grasping overbearing government or another. I spit at the idea that I, therefore, grant consent to all the government's means and powers.

  168. This was a genuinely good article and a semi-interesting comments section that was ruined by a bunch of tribalists with the same mentality that the author decries in the piece.

    Funny reading this comment chain — you see some of the same bromides and slogans that the Republicans have used for years against arguments for more economic justice, eg, “McDonald’s is supposed to be a starting job, not a career!” Yea, look at the average age of a fast food worker: 25. The age distribution of workers is roughly divided between 16 to 19, 20 to 24, and 25 to 54, with the greatest share of the employees falling into the the latter category.

    The workers who do these jobs face three bad things: Low wages, tedious and boring work, and the burden of having low status. It’s not unfair for these people to demand higher wages.

    The typical naysayers in this thread, of course, don’t really care about these fast-food workers because they by and large see them as barbarian foreigner invaders, and they aren’t shy about implying that, had these fast food workers been of a more European hue, all would be fine with wealth redistribution to help these folk.

    Only when it’s the white working and middle classes themselves get further and further left behind (as is already happening) will Republicans and the alt-right types in this thread become more comfortable with wealth redistribution in whatever shape it comes in (Basic Income, higher minimum wage, housing and utility subsidies for the working class, etc.) The Trumpian rebellion could be the start of the white working and middle classes putting pressure on Republicans to prioritize their economic interests, and we’ll surely see much more of this in the future.

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    The typical naysayers in this thread, of course, don’t really care about these fast-food workers because they by and large see them as barbarian foreigner invaders...
     
    And they're not?

    The minimum wage for Mexican irredentist spatula operators should be around $75/hr.
  169. @WorkingClass
    It's a moral judgement. That's why I said "you should". Feel free to ignore it. Speaking only for myself, I could not bear the shame of operating a sweat shop.

    In the same vein as eminent domain rulings that allow the taking of private property for use by other private individuals, demanding higher wages for people that can’t otherwise command those wages distorts the market of labor. In an attempt to achieve a public good by taking an employer’s money to redistribute money to less fortunate, the result is the destruction of jobs.

    End result: Lower skilled people on welfare and needed work undone.

    Where should I send your ‘Moral Preening Champion’ Certificate?

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    • Replies: @WorkingClass
    "demanding higher wages for people that can’t otherwise command those wages distorts the market of labor."

    True. I suppose then that you also oppose free trade and open borders.

    "In an attempt to achieve a public good by taking an employer’s money to redistribute money to less fortunate, the result is the destruction of jobs."

    True. I suppose then that you also oppose redistribution of wealth upward by means of corporate welfare.

    I much prefer collective bargaining. I will repeal the minimum wage if you will repeal Taft/Hartley. The system is totally, completely, 100% loaded AGAINST wages. That is the only reason I defend the forced minimum.
  170. @dc.sunsets
    You are judging the present by the (recent) past.

    My standard of judgement is 1861, when Illinoisans volunteered for Lincoln's Army despite:
    1. Illinois' constitution prohibited blacks, free or slave.
    2. Ample information about the battlefront meat grinder.

    Men were THAT interested in any opportunity to kill others.

    That's what a social mood low looks like. That's what I think will eventually arrive again. Such things are cyclical.

    The better angels of our nature apparently prompt us otherwise; yet – and somewhat grimly perhaps – I find agreement in this gauge of the human condition. Morality is a function of the times, has no basis in logic, and certainly none in instinct.

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    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    One time the NYC blackout causes mayhem, crime, strife, etc.

    Another time a NYC blackout causes camaraderie, cookouts and peace.

    The difference is social mood. www.socionomics.net
  171. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    Qualities a, b and c are easily trained by a rigorous regime of exercises, regardless of innate IQ ability; some might be naturally more talented than others, but just like with physical exercise, success is usually 90% hard work and 10% talent.
     
    Neural tissue is very different from bone and muscle. We should be seeing test scores equalize by the time people are taking MCATs, GREs, etc.; they don't. Equality of inputs has never, never-ever, yielded equality of outcomes. And this also holds true for physical exercise, come to think of it.

    The notion that Mind is independent of Brain is persistent; everybody wants to think their success is attributable to their virtuous living. But the unfounded Mind/Brain dichotomy is going to follow the Flat Earth into history.

    So are you just LARPing as an Orthodox Christian then? If even the notion of Mind not being wholly reducible to physical material is too much for you, then presumably all that Christianity stuff is even more so.

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  172. @Sam Shama
    The better angels of our nature apparently prompt us otherwise; yet - and somewhat grimly perhaps - I find agreement in this gauge of the human condition. Morality is a function of the times, has no basis in logic, and certainly none in instinct.

    One time the NYC blackout causes mayhem, crime, strife, etc.

    Another time a NYC blackout causes camaraderie, cookouts and peace.

    The difference is social mood. http://www.socionomics.net

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  173. @Michelle
    I totally agree with you. My I.Q. is 131. Eugenics is our enemy, because the only thing protecting us is people of lower I.Q. . if it were not for them we would be toast! Every day at my place of employment the smart liberals come to work and rant and rave about how everyone they encountered on their way to work is just too stupid to live. Once, I pointed out that they sounded like Hitler and they actually quit bitching for a while. But they started up again soon enough. They can't help it. Though they claim I.Q. tests don't matter, they feel really superior to those who are not genetically blessed. They also act as if intelligence is something they have earned, instead of something they were born with.

    What does one make of Rightist intelligencia?

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    • Replies: @Michelle
    I have a predisposition toward it myself. But I check myself on it. I know that that way lies madness. I know a lot of people of middlng intelligence who are exemplary citizens, workers, parents, etc... Intelligent people can be their own worst enemies. Intelligence isn't everything!
  174. @unit472
    Fred Reed has noticed its a helluva world and life is not fair. Being poor sucks. Being ugly sucks. Being both really sucks. As a society we do what we can. Feed people who cannot feed themselves e.g but only up to the point where we have enough to go around. Where scarcity exists we ration the demand via price.

    The problem arises when, in the name of helping the poor, you degrade the ability of the society to produce at its potential. Paying people less than the value of their work has a cost. We might all agree no human being 'needs' more than a few million dollars to be able to afford a very comfortable life but if 25,000 people will pay $50 to see some rock star sing a few songs for an hour or so how do you limit his earning capacity and allow those with less talent to share his good fortune? Tax him too much and he might decide its not worth his time to perform or write a new song. OTOH, if you pay people more than the value of their work what's to stop people with skills from deciding, all things considered, they would rather have an easy job bagging groceries for $15 per hour than repair power lines in the cold for $30 per hour?

    J S Bach found it worth his while to ‘write new songs’ without the incentive of the mass market . It’s important to avoid presentism about what motivates or could motivate people to innovate.

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  175. @workforlivn
    In the same vein as eminent domain rulings that allow the taking of private property for use by other private individuals, demanding higher wages for people that can't otherwise command those wages distorts the market of labor. In an attempt to achieve a public good by taking an employer's money to redistribute money to less fortunate, the result is the destruction of jobs.

    End result: Lower skilled people on welfare and needed work undone.

    Where should I send your 'Moral Preening Champion' Certificate?

    “demanding higher wages for people that can’t otherwise command those wages distorts the market of labor.”

    True. I suppose then that you also oppose free trade and open borders.

    “In an attempt to achieve a public good by taking an employer’s money to redistribute money to less fortunate, the result is the destruction of jobs.”

    True. I suppose then that you also oppose redistribution of wealth upward by means of corporate welfare.

    I much prefer collective bargaining. I will repeal the minimum wage if you will repeal Taft/Hartley. The system is totally, completely, 100% loaded AGAINST wages. That is the only reason I defend the forced minimum.

    Read More
    • Replies: @workforlivn
    I do oppose many of the trade agreements the US has with other countries. I pay 10-15% above union scale because that's what it costs to keep competent technicians. That's the market.

    The single largest cause of low wages in the US is open borders and I do oppose open borders.

    Large business never is a friend of a free market. I don't like big versions of business or government. A brand of equipment I sell is from Ingersoll Rand which is a very large company. Products such as they build are difficult on a smaller scale company. If they give me any shit I can go to several other equally large manufacturers. They treat me fine. I don't have this same option with local, state or federal government. I can swallow big business a whole lot easier that big government.

    I don't know much about Taft/Hartley. It doesn't affect me in any way that I know of.
    , @map
    What you don't seem to get is that the purpose of these forced minimums is to gentrify the municipalities that adopt them.

    Consider two possible outcomes of a city raising the minimum wage:

    One outcome is that nothing happens. The minimums go up and nothing really changes. That is a win for the city. Everyone makes more and noting substantially changes.

    The other outcome is that businesses that can't employ people at the new minimum leave, taking the low-income population with them. That is also a win for the city. Much less welfare spending and crime prevention for the city as well.

    Far from the minimum wage increase somehow compensating for low income and low status, it, in fact, is a tool for turning cities into gated communities that serve only a certain upper class clientele. That is the real motive behind these minimum wage increases, not some concern for the status and condition of the poor. The real purpose is to push poverty problems into other areas that are less capable of effectively dealing with them.

    People have to live somewhere. You cannot have a situation where entire urban areas are given the power to turn themselves into private clubs.
  176. @WorkingClass
    "demanding higher wages for people that can’t otherwise command those wages distorts the market of labor."

    True. I suppose then that you also oppose free trade and open borders.

    "In an attempt to achieve a public good by taking an employer’s money to redistribute money to less fortunate, the result is the destruction of jobs."

    True. I suppose then that you also oppose redistribution of wealth upward by means of corporate welfare.

    I much prefer collective bargaining. I will repeal the minimum wage if you will repeal Taft/Hartley. The system is totally, completely, 100% loaded AGAINST wages. That is the only reason I defend the forced minimum.

    I do oppose many of the trade agreements the US has with other countries. I pay 10-15% above union scale because that’s what it costs to keep competent technicians. That’s the market.

    The single largest cause of low wages in the US is open borders and I do oppose open borders.

    Large business never is a friend of a free market. I don’t like big versions of business or government. A brand of equipment I sell is from Ingersoll Rand which is a very large company. Products such as they build are difficult on a smaller scale company. If they give me any shit I can go to several other equally large manufacturers. They treat me fine. I don’t have this same option with local, state or federal government. I can swallow big business a whole lot easier that big government.

    I don’t know much about Taft/Hartley. It doesn’t affect me in any way that I know of.

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  177. @Gurney Halleck
    Interesting comment, RD. I hope you become aware of this reply.

    Your position can be refuted by the simple fact that "government" has the right to impose a tax on you, and an increased minimum wage is certainly a tax on the owners of capital. You cannot dispute the government's right to impose a tax on you because it is the fact that the government has taxed people for generations prior that led to a society that has the means to protect and enforce property rights, that has a nation wide system of infrastructure conductive of the transaction of business across long distances, that has a civilized and educated (for the most part) populace from which you draw your labor pool. All of these things are the result of public INVESTMENTS.

    You cannot take advantage of public investments and take issue with the government's means of creating them.

    Moreover, the government has more of a right to impose a tax on top income earners because high status imposes the cost of low status on others, and since this occurs largely by accident (genetic factors) it is in the interest of society as a whole to somewhat remedy the negative impact of having low status by compensating such people with money at the expense of the people with high status.

    These ideas I recently came across in "The Darwin Economy" by Robert H. Frank and they are arguments that, for the moment being, I find convincing.

    Your position can be refuted by the simple fact that “government” has the right to impose a tax on you

    It does? Says who? Who bestowed these “rights” on government? When did I agree to it?

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    • Replies: @Gurney Halleck
    Because societies in which governments did not impose a tax on the citizenry in order to improve the society's welfare (especially in terms of its ability to organize against enemy states) are societies that didn't manage to survive against more organized foes, or are societies that are at the risk of being overtaken by them. The ability of a society to mobilize its people and resources in the protection of the society itself against foes has always depended on the government's ability and authority to tax and compel people to work together collectively for the greater good. These "rights" are bestowed on government by virtue of the fact that no alternative system has managed to develop as to allow large scale societies to defend against foes, protect property rights, manage and prevent violence and conflict between the citizenry, and build public infrastructure that allows for greater economic cooperation and activity between the citizenry, and it is only the exemplary achievement of Western countries in these regards that allow some of its citizens to have the leisure, safety and comfort to indulge in bizarro libertarian fantasies. If you don't agree to the government's ability to tax you, you are free to leave and join any other nation that you think will not tax you (hint: no such nation exists.)
  178. @Gurney Halleck
    Interesting comment, RD. I hope you become aware of this reply.

    Your position can be refuted by the simple fact that "government" has the right to impose a tax on you, and an increased minimum wage is certainly a tax on the owners of capital. You cannot dispute the government's right to impose a tax on you because it is the fact that the government has taxed people for generations prior that led to a society that has the means to protect and enforce property rights, that has a nation wide system of infrastructure conductive of the transaction of business across long distances, that has a civilized and educated (for the most part) populace from which you draw your labor pool. All of these things are the result of public INVESTMENTS.

    You cannot take advantage of public investments and take issue with the government's means of creating them.

    Moreover, the government has more of a right to impose a tax on top income earners because high status imposes the cost of low status on others, and since this occurs largely by accident (genetic factors) it is in the interest of society as a whole to somewhat remedy the negative impact of having low status by compensating such people with money at the expense of the people with high status.

    These ideas I recently came across in "The Darwin Economy" by Robert H. Frank and they are arguments that, for the moment being, I find convincing.

    Your argument comes down to “you can’t dispute it because it’s always been done this way.”

    That’s a ridiculous argument. By that argument, slavery was legitimate.

    “You cannot take advantage of public investments and take issue with the government’s means of creating them.”

    Once again, that’s an assertion, not an argument. I certainly can do so. I do it all the time. The fact that you don’t like me doing it and don’t think it’s legitimate means nothing to me.

    This is closely aligned with the idea that we consent to our government because we accept its rules and benefits. That’s akin to suggesting a prisoner accepts his captivity because he eats the captors food and obeys his rules. In the modern world, we are all born surrounded, enveloped in government on all sides. We have no reasonable means of not acquiescing other than crawling in a hole and dying (and these days, the government will drag you out of that hole “for your own good.”)

    There are no open frontiers where a person can make a new life. We must choose between one grasping overbearing government or another. I spit at the idea that I, therefore, grant consent to all the government’s means and powers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Gurney Halleck
    I won't say whether or not you are right or wrong to consider that state of affairs a tragedy, but the simple fact of the matter is that modern nation states could not have developed any other way, and being born in a modern nation state, you find yourself getting many of the benefits of the prior and ongoing public investments (education, protection by a military, protection and enforcement of property rights, etc.) Taking advantage of these things and objecting to the fact that you are asked to pay taxes (and, as you suggest, not merely objecting but actually not doing so) means you are a free-rider on other people's investments and, therefore, a parasite.
  179. “I pay 10-15% above union scale because that’s what it costs to keep competent technicians.”

    Doesn’t sound like your business is in any danger from the minimum wage. Wouldn’t you like to see Wall Mart employees make enough that you wouldn’t have to provide them with welfare? How do you feel about subsiding the incredibly wealthy Walton family?

    Don’t worry about Taft/Hartely. Its a 1940′s reform of the even older Wagner Act. Nobody but me and Ralph Nader is still talking about it. I was a union machinist, now retired from Boeing. I no longer seriously advocate for unionism although if done the way it’s done in modern Germany it would be a good thing. What’s needed is a Labor Party. Donald Trump is moving us in that direction whether he knows it or not. Labor has not been represented in Washington since Clinton and NAFTA. Had we been represented there would never have been open borders and free trade and the near total destruction of our manufacturing base.

    We got off to a bad start workforlivn. Its my fault. Go in peace.

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  180. @Truth
    Your old azz will be dead in 5 years, what do you give a shit?

    the vulgarity continues. My old butt will probably live to about 100 per my doc. Good genes, and look 20 years less than my age. Anyway, I don’t count. Even if the gals say I do, still blonde and the gals love it.

    My people count, the only people who care about liberty and free speech and of course, who have invented just abut everything.

    you want to live with the untermenschen, go ahead and rut with the pigs. They will eat you someday.

    JW

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  181. @Cloudbuster
    Your position can be refuted by the simple fact that “government” has the right to impose a tax on you

    It does? Says who? Who bestowed these "rights" on government? When did I agree to it?

    Because societies in which governments did not impose a tax on the citizenry in order to improve the society’s welfare (especially in terms of its ability to organize against enemy states) are societies that didn’t manage to survive against more organized foes, or are societies that are at the risk of being overtaken by them. The ability of a society to mobilize its people and resources in the protection of the society itself against foes has always depended on the government’s ability and authority to tax and compel people to work together collectively for the greater good. These “rights” are bestowed on government by virtue of the fact that no alternative system has managed to develop as to allow large scale societies to defend against foes, protect property rights, manage and prevent violence and conflict between the citizenry, and build public infrastructure that allows for greater economic cooperation and activity between the citizenry, and it is only the exemplary achievement of Western countries in these regards that allow some of its citizens to have the leisure, safety and comfort to indulge in bizarro libertarian fantasies. If you don’t agree to the government’s ability to tax you, you are free to leave and join any other nation that you think will not tax you (hint: no such nation exists.)

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  182. @Cloudbuster
    Your argument comes down to "you can't dispute it because it's always been done this way."

    That's a ridiculous argument. By that argument, slavery was legitimate.

    "You cannot take advantage of public investments and take issue with the government’s means of creating them."

    Once again, that's an assertion, not an argument. I certainly can do so. I do it all the time. The fact that you don't like me doing it and don't think it's legitimate means nothing to me.

    This is closely aligned with the idea that we consent to our government because we accept its rules and benefits. That's akin to suggesting a prisoner accepts his captivity because he eats the captors food and obeys his rules. In the modern world, we are all born surrounded, enveloped in government on all sides. We have no reasonable means of not acquiescing other than crawling in a hole and dying (and these days, the government will drag you out of that hole "for your own good.")

    There are no open frontiers where a person can make a new life. We must choose between one grasping overbearing government or another. I spit at the idea that I, therefore, grant consent to all the government's means and powers.

    I won’t say whether or not you are right or wrong to consider that state of affairs a tragedy, but the simple fact of the matter is that modern nation states could not have developed any other way, and being born in a modern nation state, you find yourself getting many of the benefits of the prior and ongoing public investments (education, protection by a military, protection and enforcement of property rights, etc.) Taking advantage of these things and objecting to the fact that you are asked to pay taxes (and, as you suggest, not merely objecting but actually not doing so) means you are a free-rider on other people’s investments and, therefore, a parasite.

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    • Replies: @map
    Except government is not protecting your rights or your territory. It is robbing you and using your resources to import replacements, turn your children against you, and advocate for your dispossession.

    I suppose you think the British Parliament and King George made the correct argument about the importance of government and taxation to the well-being of the former British colonies, except the colonists disagreed.
  183. @WorkingClass
    "demanding higher wages for people that can’t otherwise command those wages distorts the market of labor."

    True. I suppose then that you also oppose free trade and open borders.

    "In an attempt to achieve a public good by taking an employer’s money to redistribute money to less fortunate, the result is the destruction of jobs."

    True. I suppose then that you also oppose redistribution of wealth upward by means of corporate welfare.

    I much prefer collective bargaining. I will repeal the minimum wage if you will repeal Taft/Hartley. The system is totally, completely, 100% loaded AGAINST wages. That is the only reason I defend the forced minimum.

    What you don’t seem to get is that the purpose of these forced minimums is to gentrify the municipalities that adopt them.

    Consider two possible outcomes of a city raising the minimum wage:

    One outcome is that nothing happens. The minimums go up and nothing really changes. That is a win for the city. Everyone makes more and noting substantially changes.

    The other outcome is that businesses that can’t employ people at the new minimum leave, taking the low-income population with them. That is also a win for the city. Much less welfare spending and crime prevention for the city as well.

    Far from the minimum wage increase somehow compensating for low income and low status, it, in fact, is a tool for turning cities into gated communities that serve only a certain upper class clientele. That is the real motive behind these minimum wage increases, not some concern for the status and condition of the poor. The real purpose is to push poverty problems into other areas that are less capable of effectively dealing with them.

    People have to live somewhere. You cannot have a situation where entire urban areas are given the power to turn themselves into private clubs.

    Read More
  184. @Gurney Halleck
    I won't say whether or not you are right or wrong to consider that state of affairs a tragedy, but the simple fact of the matter is that modern nation states could not have developed any other way, and being born in a modern nation state, you find yourself getting many of the benefits of the prior and ongoing public investments (education, protection by a military, protection and enforcement of property rights, etc.) Taking advantage of these things and objecting to the fact that you are asked to pay taxes (and, as you suggest, not merely objecting but actually not doing so) means you are a free-rider on other people's investments and, therefore, a parasite.

    Except government is not protecting your rights or your territory. It is robbing you and using your resources to import replacements, turn your children against you, and advocate for your dispossession.

    I suppose you think the British Parliament and King George made the correct argument about the importance of government and taxation to the well-being of the former British colonies, except the colonists disagreed.

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    • Replies: @Gurney Halleck
    I am immigrant to the USA from Africa, so I don't share your White Nationalist sympathies and it is ridiculous for you to assume that not only am I white but that also I am as alarmed about demographic changes as you. As to your larger point, by all means assert your objections to government policies as much as you'd like -- but you, or anyone else for that matter, can't benefit from public investments in various ways and then decline to pay for your share of those investments that you are capable of paying for.
  185. @map
    Except government is not protecting your rights or your territory. It is robbing you and using your resources to import replacements, turn your children against you, and advocate for your dispossession.

    I suppose you think the British Parliament and King George made the correct argument about the importance of government and taxation to the well-being of the former British colonies, except the colonists disagreed.

    I am immigrant to the USA from Africa, so I don’t share your White Nationalist sympathies and it is ridiculous for you to assume that not only am I white but that also I am as alarmed about demographic changes as you. As to your larger point, by all means assert your objections to government policies as much as you’d like — but you, or anyone else for that matter, can’t benefit from public investments in various ways and then decline to pay for your share of those investments that you are capable of paying for.

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  186. @map
    What you don't seem to get is that the purpose of these forced minimums is to gentrify the municipalities that adopt them.

    Consider two possible outcomes of a city raising the minimum wage:

    One outcome is that nothing happens. The minimums go up and nothing really changes. That is a win for the city. Everyone makes more and noting substantially changes.

    The other outcome is that businesses that can't employ people at the new minimum leave, taking the low-income population with them. That is also a win for the city. Much less welfare spending and crime prevention for the city as well.

    Far from the minimum wage increase somehow compensating for low income and low status, it, in fact, is a tool for turning cities into gated communities that serve only a certain upper class clientele. That is the real motive behind these minimum wage increases, not some concern for the status and condition of the poor. The real purpose is to push poverty problems into other areas that are less capable of effectively dealing with them.

    People have to live somewhere. You cannot have a situation where entire urban areas are given the power to turn themselves into private clubs.

    Never thought that.

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  187. to the African, nothing personal, but Haiti has the same IQ as Africa, generally, 67.

    Africans want to come here. Americans, and for that matter, everybody, does not want to go to Africa? Why is that? Of course the Chinese want to go there to harvest your organs, grab your land and so on.

    As somebody who championed decolonization fifty years ago, I now realize that you folks are so dumb that you will never amount to anything. A few of you with somewhat higher IQs, because of the bell curve, come here to get away from Africans. Just as the first thing any US black with a little bump in IQ above the US black IQ of 85, wants to get as far away from other blacks as you want …similarly.

    Same thing with every other third world country. Go to racist America…free money, blonde women just aching for your manhood, etc. One billion now of you folks with basically worthless blood, as Tacitus used to say.
    Nothing but horror lies ahead.
    Joe WEbb

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    • Replies: @geokat62

    I now realize that you folks are so dumb that you will never amount to anything... One billion now of you folks with basically worthless blood
     
    Joe is clearly demonstrating to the rest of the world what the inherent flaws are of white nationalism. They come at things from a "racial superiority" angle, instead of a "love of country" angle, and every statement necessarily becomes one of hate.

    That's why I'm not a white nationalist. I don't hate, I love. But while I love every human, I still love my country. It's my home... and who doesn't love their home? This is a very important distinction. I think white nationalists are doing a disservice to the cause of traditional nationalists - i.e., those of us who love their country and desire to retain its heritage, its identity, its culture.

    So, my advise, forget about the "white" part, let's just focus on the "nationalism" part.
  188. @joe webb
    to the African, nothing personal, but Haiti has the same IQ as Africa, generally, 67.


    Africans want to come here. Americans, and for that matter, everybody, does not want to go to Africa? Why is that? Of course the Chinese want to go there to harvest your organs, grab your land and so on.

    As somebody who championed decolonization fifty years ago, I now realize that you folks are so dumb that you will never amount to anything. A few of you with somewhat higher IQs, because of the bell curve, come here to get away from Africans. Just as the first thing any US black with a little bump in IQ above the US black IQ of 85, wants to get as far away from other blacks as you want ...similarly.

    Same thing with every other third world country. Go to racist America...free money, blonde women just aching for your manhood, etc. One billion now of you folks with basically worthless blood, as Tacitus used to say.
    Nothing but horror lies ahead.
    Joe WEbb

    I now realize that you folks are so dumb that you will never amount to anything… One billion now of you folks with basically worthless blood

    Joe is clearly demonstrating to the rest of the world what the inherent flaws are of white nationalism. They come at things from a “racial superiority” angle, instead of a “love of country” angle, and every statement necessarily becomes one of hate.

    That’s why I’m not a white nationalist. I don’t hate, I love. But while I love every human, I still love my country. It’s my home… and who doesn’t love their home? This is a very important distinction. I think white nationalists are doing a disservice to the cause of traditional nationalists – i.e., those of us who love their country and desire to retain its heritage, its identity, its culture.

    So, my advise, forget about the “white” part, let’s just focus on the “nationalism” part.

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  189. Increasing the price of anything does inevitably lower the demand for it. I could endorse a higher minimum wage – for people over 27. These are more likely to be those having kids nowadays. It would create an incentive for employers to hire younger people and help young people to “lose their work virginity”, which is a lot harder to lose than the other virginity!

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  190. @Orlin sellers
    Fred,
    Capitalists/capitalism is the problem? I'm sorry, but I don't think so. Every problem, injustice, lack of education, etc., etc., etc., can and is directly linked to the government and its policies.

    And pray tell Orlin, just who is it that ultimately calls the shots for setting government policies?

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  191. @Gurney Halleck
    This was a genuinely good article and a semi-interesting comments section that was ruined by a bunch of tribalists with the same mentality that the author decries in the piece.

    Funny reading this comment chain -- you see some of the same bromides and slogans that the Republicans have used for years against arguments for more economic justice, eg, "McDonald's is supposed to be a starting job, not a career!" Yea, look at the average age of a fast food worker: 25. The age distribution of workers is roughly divided between 16 to 19, 20 to 24, and 25 to 54, with the greatest share of the employees falling into the the latter category.

    The workers who do these jobs face three bad things: Low wages, tedious and boring work, and the burden of having low status. It's not unfair for these people to demand higher wages.

    The typical naysayers in this thread, of course, don't really care about these fast-food workers because they by and large see them as barbarian foreigner invaders, and they aren't shy about implying that, had these fast food workers been of a more European hue, all would be fine with wealth redistribution to help these folk.

    Only when it's the white working and middle classes themselves get further and further left behind (as is already happening) will Republicans and the alt-right types in this thread become more comfortable with wealth redistribution in whatever shape it comes in (Basic Income, higher minimum wage, housing and utility subsidies for the working class, etc.) The Trumpian rebellion could be the start of the white working and middle classes putting pressure on Republicans to prioritize their economic interests, and we'll surely see much more of this in the future.

    The typical naysayers in this thread, of course, don’t really care about these fast-food workers because they by and large see them as barbarian foreigner invaders…

    And they’re not?

    The minimum wage for Mexican irredentist spatula operators should be around $75/hr.

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  192. @Crawfurdmuir
    "Every day at my place of employment the smart liberals come to work and rant and rave about how everyone they encountered on their way to work is just too stupid to live...Though they claim I.Q. tests don’t matter, they feel really superior to those who are not genetically blessed. They also act as if intelligence is something they have earned, instead of something they were born with."

    This seems quite characteristic of this class of people in my experience, as well.

    The leftist intelligentsia professes egalitarianism, but not because they really want or expect a broad levelling of social or economic condition. Rather, their egalitarianism is a tactic to be used against the business class, which the intelligentsia both envy for their wealth and despise as made up of their intellectual and moral inferiors. A satisfactory result of wealth redistribution from the point of the intelligentsia would be to cast down the despised bourgeoisie and to replace that class with themselves, whom they regard as much more deserving of elite status and its perquisites.

    The extent to which this has happened already is considerable, and it shows in the increasingly authoritarian tone now emanating from the left. Its purported devotion to civil liberty was always a means to the end of acquiring power, and now that the left is mostly in charge, there is no more need for it. We will in similar fashion increasingly see the egalitarian camouflage with which the left wing intelligentsia have cloaked their moral vanity and intellectual snobbery being discarded as no longer needed - witness the scorn already exhibited by the left for the white working class.

    Old habits die hard, though, and a good propagandistic trope is not easily abandoned. I'm always a big amused at the way supposedly elite figures are portrayed in popular entertainments, where a businessman or other rich person is invariably represented as a reactionary old-money WASP. That stereotype might have been plausible in the 1930s. But yesterday's "class enemy" must still be given regular floggings, dead horse though he be, to distract the attention of the mob from the ones who are running things today.

    True dat! They also expect to be paid top dollar for thinking!

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  193. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Captain Willard
    @dcsunsets

    I agree with your wife, but that wasn't my point. My point is that most people in the Us, if they're sober and willing, no matter how stupid, can produce more than $8-10/hr of marginal labor product if we get them into the workforce and train them.

    Therefore any barrier, like the minimum wage, to getting them into the workforce is a problem .

    Your second point is very profound. A good engineer can have world-wide impact now. Sure, so did Watt, Whitney et al in the olden days. But the pace of the impact is so much faster now.

    I would only add to your point that organizing principles and management know-how amplify raw engineering advances too. So does a world-wide venture capital industry.

    Yes, we're probably going to have to find things the average Joe can do in the coming age you describe. So let's start by teaching them to show up for work,

    “My point is that most people in the Us, if they’re sober and willing, no matter how stupid, can produce more than $8-10/hr of marginal labor product if we get them into the workforce and train them.”

    How do you know this? It seems like an article of faith. Fred was saying just the opposite.

    Your qualifier “no matter how stupid” seems to throw the balance of plausibility to Fred’s thesis. Training works no matter how stupid people are?

    In WW1, recruiters engaged in the task of skill-sorting draftees found through testing that a significant percentage of them not only did not know how to read a map, but also could not be taught how to read a map.

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  194. @dc.sunsets
    What does one make of Rightist intelligencia?

    I have a predisposition toward it myself. But I check myself on it. I know that that way lies madness. I know a lot of people of middlng intelligence who are exemplary citizens, workers, parents, etc… Intelligent people can be their own worst enemies. Intelligence isn’t everything!

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  195. @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Fuck you. I lived in that world for almost two decades. Who are you to tell me that I'm wrong, especially since it jibes with exactly what Fred said. I was simply trying to point out that Fred is right, even if it's hard to believe.

    Have you hung out with people in DC? I don't mean the secretaries or the a couple of years and done crowd. I mean the experienced reporters, the long-term staffers, the consultants, the lawyers, the scientists, the lobbyists, the think-thinkers, etc.

    These people are flat-out smart, at least in a classroom setting. They may be annoying, they may be isolated, but, by God, they are smart. What's more, they always been surrounded by other smart people. That's their world, and it gives them a very skewed idea of reality.

    Smart is one thing and wise is another. Smart people can still do remarkably stupid things because they all sit around and agree with each other and never hear ideas and opinions outside their normal frame of reference. For more on this phenomenon check out the book “Groupthink” by Irving L. Janis, 1983 Houghton-Mifflin.

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  196. Most techies are socially retarded LARPER’s who could never lay down a bass-line.

    Computing is basically understanding that a machine runs on instructions. If you get how to make a grocery list eventually you can write a computer program.

    The answer to all this nonsense is accountability in the market.

    I’m not holding my breath.

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